For many, donating an organ would be a sacrifice too great to make. For Dr. White, it’s a means by which she can love and give in a sacrificial, Christlike way.
A Life of Adventure
Dr. Caramine White has a long list of achievements. She has been a valedictorian, has run 14 marathons, completed an Ironman triathlon, written four books, and has published hundreds of articles. She’s also lived a life of adventure, having skydived, and taught overseas after receiving a Fulbright scholarship. Furthermore, she always takes the time to help others who are less fortunate, such as the homeless or abused and neglected animals. Despite her long list of thrilling adventures and applaudable achievements, she says her latest feat, donating a kidney, is the best experience she has ever had.
Loving Like Jesus
If you have ever had Dr. White as a professor, you know she opens every class in prayer. In February of 2015, a student shared a prayer request that her aunt, Janice Smith, needed a new kidney. Dr. White’s heart was stirred by the prayer request and she felt a call to aid the family any way she could. She saw the experience as an opportunity to live out her highest goal – to let people see the love of Jesus through her. She made the decision to undergo tests to determine whether or not her kidney would be a match for the student’s aunt. Miraculously, she was a perfect match.
After the procedure, the doctors informed Dr. White that although it often takes hours for the kidney to start working after a transplant, Jan’s kidney started working instantly.
Furthermore, Janice showed quick signs of improvement, regaining color within hours and experiencing unusually quick healing in general. Because of Dr. White’s kidney donation, Jan’s life expectancy has been extended by over a decade. Now, Jan not only has more time to spend with her family, but also has a much richer quality of life. She looks forward to spending days on the beach with her loved ones and to traveling, something her medical condition prohibited her from doing before the transplant.
The highlight of Dr. White’s experience was when Jan’s family came to visit her. Hearing the family’s joy from the next room brought tears of happiness to Dr. White.
Being able to see Jan’s family celebrate with such deep happiness gave Dr. White the feeling that she had been a part of something meaningful. She says, “[It] was the best experience I have ever had…. a lovely, wonderful experience.” She wishes she had more kidneys to share with those who need them and admits she has googled other organs she can donate.
Dr. White did not let me leave her office before recommending that I follow my convictions to help others. She says that even though life is busy, our ultimate call is to show the love of Jesus to those around us, whether through a small act of kindness or through a journey as transformational as donating a kidney. Her advice to others is that “you don’t have to give away a kidney, but never pass up an opportunity to help someone if you are capable of helping them.”
Savanna Kelley is a staff writer at the Daily Runner.
Photographs provided by Nicolas Reynolds.