An Act of Kindness

150 150 A Right Place For Seniors

“I feel that when we help others it makes our lives more worthwhile.”  

By:  Becky Mcknight, San Gabriel Valley Senior Living Consultant


Becky Mcknight – ARPFS Senior Living Consultant 

We are in a profession which is service oriented.  We deliberately focus on helping other human beings dealing with big transitions in their lives.  Each of us has our personal reasons and lifetime experiences that have led us down this path.  

I know that when I was growing up I observed my parents taking part in community activities that absolutely affected the lives of the people in our small city.   Whether it was organizing Scout troops, Indian Guides, school bond issues, vaccination events, donating blood, or a plethora of other things our family was front and center.  This life lesson of helping others has been a part of who I am and all my life and has had a huge influence on the types of jobs and careers I’ve chosen. 

My three wonderful daughters are grown and have families of their own.  Each of them chose husbands that I am delighted with.  These men are kind, generous natured, hard working, interesting, decent human beings I would be proud to have as my own sons.  I’m a lucky mother-in-law.  One of these terrific young men, Dave W. has a genetic illness running rampant through his family which has caused the early death of many of his family members.  They have polycystic kidney disease.  He told us about this when he was still dating my middle daughter Beth.  Over the 17 ½ years of their marriage his kidneys have been deteriorating slowly but steadily.  Fortunately, he has not yet needed to go on dialysis which is an advantage when considering kidney transplant.  Four of our family members have expressed interest in donating a kidney for Dave when the time was right.  I was the first to contact UCLA when we found out the time had come and he needed a new kidney.  Together we have gone through months of testing, he as a recipient and me as a donor.  I cannot give Dave one of my kidneys because I’m 20 years older than he is, because I’m 5’4” and he is 6’5” tall, I’m 0- and he is A+ blood type, and other extenuating factors.  So, we are in what’s called an Exchange Program.  On December 5, my left kidney will be going to a matched recipient on the east coast, their donor’s kidney will go to someone else, that person’s donor kidney will go to a matched recipient, etc. and that same day Dave will get an appropriate younger, larger, and perfectly matched kidney tailor made to fit him.  How fascinating that we are influencing the future lives of so many people. 

I‘ve donated a pint of blood about every two to three months for most of my adult life; I have an organ donor sticker on my driver’s license, this just feels like the right thing to do.  

Because of the legacy my parents embodied we have many family members in medicine and education (Dave is a high school English teacher) as well as other service areas.  I’m proud of each of them and feel that when we help others it makes our lives more worthwhile.

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