Giving Life on Leap Day

August 17, 2017, 1:01pm EDT

By Ann Sletten, kidney donor
Ed and my grown sons, Dan & Josh, have been good friends since middle school, so I’ve known about Ed's health situation almost since the beginning. However it wasn't until the day before Thanksgiving 2015, after reading a Facebook post by his daughter Melissa and a local newspaper article about Ed’s situation, that a seed was planted in my heart.  After many conversations with my husband Pete and lots of prayer, I was confident that I was the one who had Ed's future kidney. I submitted my name to be tested.  
As a prospective donor, I went through an extensive and very thorough medical exam process over the next couple of months. On Feb 1st, 2017 I was approved to be a donor. Matching surgical suites were reserved for Ed and I for Feb 29th at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. The day of the surgery arrived, everything went smoothly, and my left kidney found a new home with Ed. 
I want to share that donating a kidney is by far one of the best opportunities I’ve ever been given in this life. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I recovered quickly and now 18 months later, except for the small fading scars, you would not even know I donated my kidney.
My husband and I thought the hardest part of the whole donation process might be telling ourkids, but as it turned out, we had no reason to be anxious. All three of them…Sam, Dan and Kelly…were wonderfully supportive. By leaning on my faith, along with the love, support and prayers of my family and friends, I was carried through the amazing journey of kidney donation.
Photo: Ann Sletten in second from right