Participate in a Larger Story
Welcome friends, I visited with Dori Goebel and listened to her story of mission as a volunteer. Years ago, Dori read her friend's online request for a kidney donation. After becoming aware of her friend's need, she heard God's call to help. As a kidney donor, Dori not only saved her friend's life but she inspires us to serve in mission as a volunteer and as a disciple of Christ. Let’s listen to Dori's remarkable story together.
In February of 2018, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a post from a friend of mine [Cindy Mondello] that I have know for ten to eleven years. The post told of Cindy's story about having polycystic disease and how she was at the point where she needed to begin to look for a kidney donor. As I was sitting there reading the story, I got to the end of her post where she said, 'if you're interested then call this number.'
I was sitting in my office and I remember the Lord speaking to me and saying to me, 'Write the number down.'
I thought, "Really?"
So I did and stuck the number aside. Then another few days go by and I was cleaning up papers on my desk and came across the number. God said, 'Call the number.'
So I did and I got the donor coordinator. She told me to fill out all this paperwork and you will hear in a few days or weeks. She emailed me the paperwork. I filled it out. Scanned it in and sent it back. I forgot about it.
The next week, I got a call from the donor center saying, 'You are approved to be screened.'
I went in thinking that I was going to be there for awhile, so I have my water and my books. I was there only ten minutes. They took my blood, blood pressure and weight. Then said, "See ya later."
I said, 'What?'
They said, 'It will be about three weeks before you hear from us the results.'
At that point, maybe I should tell my husband what I am doing. At dinner that night, I said, 'Honey, I probably should tell you something that I am doing.'
I told him and he did not miss a beat and turned toward me and said, 'Oh you will be a match.
I told him, 'I think it is a little more than you saying, I will be a match.'
He said, 'No. If God has made it that clear, then you will be a match.'
About three or four days later, I received this call saying that I am a match.
I walked into my husband's office and started bawling. He asked, 'What happened?'
I told him, 'I'm a match.'
Then I had to go through further testing that did require bottles of water and books, time wise. I didn't feel comfortable sharing with anybody other than my husband what I was doing.
The day of my intensive testing, I was suppose to be going with my college friends to the mountains for a weekend retreat. All I felt comfortable saying to them was, 'I will need to meet you all up there because I have something to do on Friday morning.'
They asked if I was ok and what was going on.
I told them I was fine, but I needed to complete this on Friday before coming on the retreat.
I complete all my testings and I get to the mountains. I meet my friends for lunch. Most of you know with girlfriends, it is talk, talk, talk. I am sitting there and it is dead silence. Nobody is talking at lunch. Finally, I said, 'I know why you all are not talking, because you are dying to know what is going on. I still do not feel comfortable sharing, but just know it is nothing bad. I will tell you as soon as I can.'
One of my girlfriends says, 'Oh, let us guess.'
Two of them guess these random things. The third girlfriend is quiet. I looked at her, and asked Karen if she was going to guess. Karen said, 'Oh I don't know, you are donating a kidney.'
I literally dropped my fork and stared at her as she looked at me. I busted into tears, and said to her, 'Why did you guess that, because that is what I am doing.'
There were many times during the process, God confirmed I was doing the right thing. I had people look at me and say, 'You are doing what?' But no one of my trusted inner circle, reacted in a negative way. I always felt supported from them and felt God's continual pursuit.
Of coarse there were struggle points along the way, like after all the intensive testing. Doctors told me everything about me. At one point, I looked at a doctor and said, 'Listen only God knows the numbers of hairs on my head, so if you tell me, I am going to walk out the door. That is a little too much for you to know.'
They did find a small cyst in my stomach which needed to come out before I could donate. Do not worry, the removal of the cyst is covered by your donation process. About four or five days before the initial surgery to remove the cyst and I receive a call from a coordinator at the hospital that I do not know. She says, 'I need to get your insurance information for the upcoming surgery.'
I asked her why since I thought it was covered by the donation process. She said, 'No, this is elective surgery. You will need to pay for it.'
I had a total Peter moment, when I melted down and took my eyes off God. I looked at the waves. I freaked out. I was terrified the transplant was not going to happen, because I had to have the cyst removed to donate my kidney. That night I was out of town in a hotel room by myself crying my eyes out, yelling at God. God in his ever patient way said, 'It is going to be ok. It is still going to happen. Look back at me. This is what you are going to do.'
God said, 'Your insurance is going to cover it. You will have some to pay, but you will raise the money through a Go Fund Me Page. You will cover it. It will be fine.'
I started a Go Fund Me page and I had the surgery paid for in two days, before I even went in for the surgery. I went in for the initial surgery. I had the tumor removed, which went well.
Then it turned into my recipient's time to panic. Cindy was saying, 'I don't know if it is time. I don't know if I need it. I don't know.'
I gave her a time frame that we can do this in. I am going on a 25th wedding anniversary cruise in September. I am not going to have the surgery before that date. I am going to Israel in March of next year. I am not doing it before that. So you have your choice of time for the surgery.
She figured out a time that worked. I donated my kidney to her on December 4, 2018. I was in the hospital for 48 hours, she was in the hospital for a day longer than I. Kidney worked great in her. I do not miss it. I do not remember much of December 2018 because I was asleep trying to recover. It was so amazing. My recipient, like I said had been a friend for a number of years, and she has an amazing ministry here in Greensboro where I live called, Restoration Place Counseling. She has this beautiful outreach to hundreds of women providing counseling on a sliding scale basis from a Christian foundation. I was so humbled and blessed to be chosen by God to donate a kidney to her, to be able to extend and improve her life, because she blesses so many people through her life. It was very humbling to be her kidney donor.
She has a huge network of people who know her and love her. I was humbled and blessed by the Lord to be her donor. I went to Israel in March. We were in Magdala one day. I was walking in with a big group. Our group leader said he wanted to introduce us to a girl from Greensboro, but she lives here now and she coordinates all of the volunteers for Magdala.
Fast forward a few minutes, our group was walking around in Magdala, this woman comes up to me and said she knew me from somewhere. I started listing all the places in Greensboro such as church, school, etc.
She said, 'No, I know you from Facebook. You donated your kidney to Cindy. I know Cindy, and I was praying about donating to Cindy, but God told me no because he had someone else in mind.'
Fast forward a few months from my kidney donation, I meet this person in Magdala, where Mary Magdala was from and where the Lord healed her. I was a bucket of tears throughout the rest of the tour day. But again that experience allowed me to share my kidney donation story on my interfaith mission trip to Israel as a whole. The Lord has worked through my donation experience and my time volunteering to donate my kidney in such amazing ways. I am in awe of my participation in a larger story.'
Take a simple step in mission this weekend as volunteer by listening to the needs around you in the world and letting God lead the way. Take care and blessings to you this day.
Are you interested in kidney donation? Find answers to all your questions at Donate Life.
Learn more about Restoration Place Counseling and ways to support Cindy Mondello, founder and director.
Many thanks to Hope*Writer friend, Briane Pittman Kearns, for connecting me to Dori and her amazing story of mission as a volunteer.
Learn more about Hope*Writers at https://www.hopewriters.com/.