Stir It Up
"It’s very humbling to have someone donate a kidney to you."
Published: September 28, 2011
Carter recovered well and was able to travel to California in August to scatter his mother's ashes in the Pacific Ocean and take care of other obligations. Back home now, he's taking it easy and dedicating the next year to his health while taking a Spanish class at Wayne State. He's thinking about what to do with his "rebirth."
"It's very humbling to have someone donate a kidney to you," Carter says. "We were good friends and now we're like brothers."
He does report one new quirk since the transplant, a craving for cashews, something he'd never had before — but Bowman did.
"He has a part of me so I guess that might explain it," says Bowman, who has become a spokesman for the Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program. MOTTEP focuses on encouraging healthier lifestyles, increasing the number of minority donors and recipients, and family discussions regarding organ and tissue transplants.
According to information on the MOTTEP website, more than 50 percent of the 83,000 Americans on the national transplant list are minorities, and 16 people die each day waiting for a transplant.
"You still have people in many communities, particularly Arab and Hispanic, who are not really sure about that process because of their experience with institutions," says Denny, one of about 35 African-American transplant surgeons in the United States. "People who get a transplant live longer than people who do not."
Here's to a longer life for Carter and Bowman. They were friends before, but have now taken brotherly love to a level most of us never achieve.
"I just wish that other people would take the 'love thy neighbor as thyself' instruction from the Bible as seriously as I do," Bowman says. "It is more than a notion by a long shot. If you love somebody that needs a kidney, and you're blessed with good health, you ought to consider it."
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