Saturday, August 25, 2012

Killington Wanders: Killington Peak

Last weekend I finally felt up to hiking around Killington.  I'd like to say I hiked all the way to the top of Killington (I have in the past), but I rode the gondola 1.25 miles and hiked up the last 500 feet to the peak at 4241 feet. It is a beautiful view, especially on a beautiful summer afternoon.

While up there, I checked out the progress of the new K1 Peak Lodge.  The foundation is finally laid.  The weather and landscape offer extra challenges to the rebuilding progress.  First Hurricane Irene last year, then pounding through rock before they could lay the foundation.  Blasting the rock wasn't an option, since that could have compromised the K1 Gondola.


When I returned to the K1 base, I stopped at the Umbrella Bar for a little music and a nice cold brew.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Connecticut Wanders: Mark's Classic Cruise Night

Monday I discovered Mark's Classic Cruise Night.  Every Monday evening from May - September hundreds of people gather at a 25 acre field in East Granby for a free family friendly cruise.  It is fun to watch the vehicles stream onto the field, until it is filled with hundreds of classic and antique cars and special interest vehicles. There is a smaller side parking lot for those of us who drive ordinary cars. The event is completely run by volunteers, and proceeds earned from food sales are donated to support local charities. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Mother's Gift: Living Kidney Donation

This spring I was fortunate enough to give my son a gift that gives him another chance for a healthy life.  I became a living kidney donor.

Iggy, my 26 year old son, a recent college grad with a great job, a wonderful girlfriend, and a promising future - was in kidney failure.  He needed to spend 12 hours a week on dialysis to stay alive.  His condition would continue to deteriorate until he could get a new kidney.  I found it heart breaking. 

We were informed there are 114,000  candidates in the USA waiting for a kidney from a deceased donor with a wait time of 2-4 years (  He had fought so many health battles in the past it just didn't seem fair.  I volunteered to donate my kidney to him.  We were disheartened to find out I wasn't a match.

Our hope was restored when the transplant team at The Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, told us a paired exchange donation could be facilitated by entering the National Kidney Registry.  I would offer to donate my kidney to another individual in need of a kidney who wasn't a match with their potential donor. 

The NKR uses a computer program to match incompatible pairs of kidney donor- recipients with other incompatible kidney donor-recipients until compatible matches are found.  The wait time is usually only a few months for compatible pairs to be found.  In our case it took 5 months, a chain of  5 donors recipients and two hospitals to make it work. 

All the surgeries happened simultaneously to ensure all the recipients were provided the promised kidney.  Eric received the kidney from a 43 year old wife of a kidney recipient.  My kidney went to a 55 year old husband and father. 

Well that was 2 months ago.  I am pretty much recovered and feeling well. I have even started riding my bike again. I have one more month of activity restrictions before I can resume all my usual activities.  Iggy now has a bright future.  He looks the healthiest and happiest I have seen him in years.  I am grateful to his donor, to the NKR, B&W and Mass General Transplant Teams, and everyone else who made this life changing gift possible.

Jo, Iggy, and Sue