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Mother's Day often means breakfast in bed, handmade cards or macaroni necklaces for the women who spend sleepless nights fretting over infants and adolescents alike and log hundreds of hours making lunches and science fair projects. But what do you do for a Mom who gave you the gift of life not once, but twice?
Angie Dudley happily faces this challenge as Mother's Day and the first anniversary of her new kidney-a gift from mom-approach.
Dudley who says her mom, Sandy Cunningham, is her "best friend," would like to take her mom on vacation, bake her a special dessert and splurge on a girl's shopping spree. "Because I appreciate every day since my life was saved with the transplant, my mom and I just enjoy being able to do the everyday stuff together. We love going out to eat, traveling and shopping."
Dudley lives a few miles away from her Mom in Suwanee, Georgia, but to tens of thousands of fans, she lives online in the persona of her alterego, a fabulous blogger named Bakerella. The creator of the cake pop phenomenon and author of the NY Times bestselling "Cake Pops by Bakerella", Dudley credits her mom with being there every step of the way, even joining on her book tour to 20 different cities last year.
Dudley, whose kidney saga started 20 years ago at age 19, was diagnosed with kidney disease called focal sclerosing glomerular nephritis. "My mom wanted to donate her kidney then, but since the disease could recur in a transplanted kidney, it was best at that time to go on the waiting list". Dudley did peritoneal dialysis for about a year before receiving a kidney from a deceased donor. After a while, when she stunned doctors with her deceased donor kidney's longevity, Dudley began to think it might work forever. Near the end of 2010, however, she got the bad news that her kidney was scarring and after almost two decades, it became apparent that she'd need a new one.
"My mom didn't wait to be asked. She just said 'honey, you're taking my kidney.' If I had protested, she would have cut it out and given it to me, she was so determined to be my donor. "
Dudley says she is so grateful to her mom and couldn't even imagine what she would have needed to do to find her own donor. She was extremely touched by the many offers to get tested from loyal Bakerella blog readers, all of whom she had never met.
Dudley feels great since the surgery and has rolled up her sleeves this year to cook up, or rather bake up, many new projects, including a video to go along with her book and many new creative cake pops.
One of the most adorable of these is the Kidney Cake pop. For those who are looking for that special, homemade Mother's Day gift for kidney donors or even recipients, give it a try.
Happy Mother's Day to Dudley's mom, Sandy and to all the special mothers in our lives