Thursday, May 13, 2010

Honoring Heather

We all have tried-and-true friends who make us proud. For some of these friends, we admire the way they have our backs without question. For others, it's the way they laugh out loud through the most difficult of times. For yet more, it's the way they see the world as a place bursting with interesting people and potential adventures... a world that even when it's crummy, is still a place of hope. My hometown best friend Heather makes me proud for all of these reasons, and always has.

Mutual love of barbecue makes it into the local paper!

Heather liking me even though I refuse to use a hairdryer. Summer of 1996, Outer Banks, NC

[College and Grad School Photos Contained on Dead Laptop and Unavailable... grrrrr]

 Wearing pale pink by force while Heather stuns in classic black. My sister's wedding, 2004 

 Upon realizing that the small stepping stone would not allow both sets of curvy hips to face the camera at once. Ten-year high school reunion, 2006.

Dozens of friends and family celebrated the new year together - as orchestrated by Heather, of course! New Year's Eve '06-'07

 There were better shots, but this one makes me laugh. Paparazzi photo from Vegas, celebrating Heather's 30th

My wedding, 2009

I'm writing about Heather today for a very particular reason. On top of all the reasons why I love Heather's place in my life, here's why I'm proud to be part of hers: On June 1, she's donating her kidney to her cousin Michael.

Last year at the age of 25, Michael was diagnosed with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a type of kidney disease. He's been on dialysis and searching for a new kidney ever since. His immediate family was screened and ruled out as kidney donors, and Heather volunteered her services. After six months of testing, the doctors determined that Heather's kidney was indeed a match for her cousin. Heather being Heather, she said yes immediately.

After the kidney transplant, Michael will need to take expensive anti-rejection medicine the rest of his life. On top of the already steep medical bills that have accumulated as a result of his condition, the financial realities of what's ahead are humbling. Heather being Heather, giving her cousin one of her organs is only the beginning: she's also organizing a fundraiser on his behalf. As you might have gathered already, that's just the kind of person Heather is.

Interested in raising a glass with me in honor of these two courageous individuals, virtually or in person? Heather's got you covered. I'm thrilled to be at this event supporting my girl, and I'd love to see you!

If you're not in the area and would like to support Michael virtually, either through a donation or simply with kind words of support, you can do so at Support Michael Wall. The blog will help us follow the course of the surgery and track Michael's progress over time.

Heather will be on medical leave for a month after the surgery. Plenty of time to plan our fantasy trip to Paris, don't you think, Heather?

To friends, to family, and to doing the right thing: I'm so proud of you, Heather Love.


  1. I'm honored you honored me! Thank you so much for your support and frienship over the last 16 years. See you in a couple of weeks!

  2. I also consider Heather "one of those" friends...and am so very envious of her strength and ambition. Her donation is more than just giving gives hope to each of us that in a time of great need...we can only hope that a friend (or family member) like Heather will be willing to give as much.

    I hope to raise a glass in person with you...until then - Here's to all the "Heathers" in the world that give so many a reason to smile ;) !!
    Maggie...beautiful blog! Thank you!
    Nicole Rehfuss

  3. Maggie, thank you for the kind words about our sweet daughter Heather. We are indeed proud of her unselfish attitude and marvel at the wonderful, young woman she has become.
    Candace and Ron Blackley

  4. What a humbling and inspiring story.

  5. It's nothing short of heart-melting.

  6. donation=check. has anyone been able to get this into the cary news or n&o? what a beautiful story. you're a brave and kind woman, heather. thanks for sharing, maggie!

  7. Wow -- awesome story. Truly. We'd all be lucky to have a Heather in our lives.


C'mon, make my day...

Related Posts with Thumbnails