From the July 2011 magazine.

August 2011: Sober Transplant

Kidney surgery took her 500 miles from home, but brought her closer to the Fellowship

"God has healed me fully and this summer I will celebrate the fourth anniversary of my kidney transplant."

The benefits from being a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for over 25 years are immeasurable, but they are so much greater when you’ve spent over 20 years with the same home group. My home group in AA has become my family and helped me maintain my sobriety as I have lived life on life’s terms. Each of my experiences with marriage, parenthood, divorce, death, disease, and an empty nest, have brought me closer to my AA family. I have leaned on them for support and they have shared their experience, strength, and hope with me. They know me better than my biological family.

In November of 2005, I was told that I was entering kidney failure caused by a hereditary disease known as Polycystic kidney disease. The doctor told me that I would need a transplant within the next year or so, and I needed to start searching for a donor. My whole world came crumbling down as I became plagued by self-pity and depression. My home group was of great support, as usual, as I suffered with my illness, and they helped me to get through this without drinking. I prayed that God would send me some newcomers to work with. I needed to get out of myself and start serving others. My prayers were answered as I gained three new sponsees. These ladies helped me feel useful in a time when I couldn’t do the things I normally do. They were a blessing as we became friends, benefiting each other. They encouraged and prayed for me when I was disabled and no longer able to work. As a single mother of a teenage girl, I needed all the support I could get. They helped me remain hopeful, reminding me the AA program had taught me that God hadn’t brought me this far to drop me.

-- Lisa R.

Laurel, Montana

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