Written by YaJagoff co-host and partner, Rachael Rennebeck. 

Prepare for the most serious blog post ever written on our Yajagoff website.  Spread it and share it because we honor a hero.

My mother needed a living donor transplant to survive.  The word quickly circulated and people came out of the woodwork with hopes of being the donor.  As the good-hearted people were tested, we learned immediately that the process was intricate, long and finicky.  This would slow the donor process and take a toll on my mother’s life.  The holidays were far from joyous and ringing in the new year was more like bracing for the next round of storms.  

As a family we smiled through the pain and blanketly answered that my mom would have good days and bad, knowing deep down that the bad days were winning by leaps and bounds. We aren’t God, nor her team of doctors, and can’t change fate, but as donor attempts were denied, we prayed for whatever was best for our matriarch of our family; the woman who exuded life and living. Marylou Hunt made every day a party by being her.  She was everyone’s mother, sister, and friend and to be in her presence was a blessing.  Then Cirrhosis stripped her of jovial days and left her weak and suffering.  As we grew angry and resentful, bleak with hope, a hero emerged. 

Sara Booz fit all of the criteria and agreed to become my mother’s living donor.  She was not a family member, a dear friend, a neighbor watching the demise.  Instead a hardworking nurse, wife and mother who wanted to grant my family more time to be a family.  My brother coached her son briefly and their children attended the same taekwondo facility.  She read about my mother’s need and like many people, mustered the words to ask “how is your mom” on days it didn’t seem too awkward to ask.  She was tested, confirmed her donor decision with her family,  and delivered the life-saving news to my brother at taekwondo class.   

There were no bells and whistles, no confetti and party like reveal.  The donor from the dojo simply proclaimed that she had a date with my mom for a procedure. SHE WAS COMMITTING TO SAVING MY MOTHER’S LIFE.  This breath of fresh air is breathing life back into the woman who epitomized living each day to its fullest.  The irony!  

I operate on the motto that tomorrow is a new day.  A reason to regroup and reset. I have butterflies because tomorrow is the day we spend time with the woman who agreed to give a piece of herself to save my mother’s life, who gave my family hope, who gave her own family another reason to celebrate her greatness. Miracles happen.  People are still good. Heroes are among us.  I meet mine tomorrow. 

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