Fragile but Joyful

Colleen Kaleda, here, a friend of Alison’s. Alison is now four days post kidney surgery, and she’s asked me to write some update posts in her stead during her early recovery phase.

Alison and I spoke on the phone Saturday afternoon. She is doing well, awash in joy, and feeling uplifted by cards, letters, delivered food, flowers and phone calls.

“I feel really bathed in love,” she said.

The physical pain, Alison says, is totally worth it, with the knowledge that Gloria will soon receive the kidney she needs, and probably get to see her grandchildren grow up. Alison says it was “one of the best memories of my life” to pray with Gloria by her hospital bed just before her surgery on Wednesday morning.

“These thoughts trigger my joy,” she texted me, just after writing, “I am walking at this point with the speed and sure footedness of a 100 year old person. Yay!”

After Wednesday’s successful surgery, Alison spent two overnights at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, before heading home Friday afternoon. After what she describes as a rough first day, she reports that each day since has been better and better. Ever the extrovert, Alison is currently finding herself relaxing by her living room fire, near the activity of her kitchen, where – of course — her supportive family is.

Alison is also keeping a journal, reflecting on her kidney donation process, and pasting in cards and letters and notes.

Full disclosure: I’m the mother of the children that wrote the pre-surgery letters that Alison featured in her last post. She says those have already been glue-sticked into the inner cover of her journal! I’m feeling proud of my kids for expressing themselves so freely, and who truly understand that Alison giving her kidney is really her giving someone the gift of life.

If you’d like to help support Alison as she recovers, please directly contact Sura at


14 thoughts on “Fragile but Joyful”

  1. Wishing you a quick recovery Alison! Thank you for sharing your journey and letting others know we all have a big give in us. All living donors I’ve met say it’s one of the most amazing things they’ve ever done.
    Just as someone inspired you to consider living donation, I hope your act will open others to the idea as well. Rest well and enjoy your Christmas celebration.?

    1. Doris, yes, I too hope others will consider donating a kidney. Or if not that, finding the big give that is right for them.

  2. Alison.
    I am praying and hoping that you and Gloria are doing well after the surgery. You are truly an inspiration to all of us. Will always keep you in mind as one who has always been giving to others. May you live long and happy. You have always been an inspiration and a fountain of giving.

    With warmest wishes,

  3. Dear Alison,
    I’m sending you my love and warm wishes from Mauritius. I pray for your speedy recovery. Reading your posts and following your journey of selfless giving leaves me both in awe and appreciation. It warms my heart to know that people such as you are present on this planet in these trying moments. You have provided me with much food for thought about the purpose of life and how I should maybe try harder to bring more happiness to those around me. I’m really thankful that fate made our paths cross…

    1. Roshnee, I love that you have let my choices influence you. I love my memories of your visiting us from Mauritius, your presence so graceful and luminous. Thank you for witnessing this chapter of my life.

  4. Congratulations, Alison! So proud of you and completely in support of your Big Give! You have inspired me on so many levels. Happy to hear you are healing well, safe and comfortable at home, and surrounded by love and care. I look forward to speaking to you and talking more. Look forward to seeing you in person at some point in 2021 and giving you a big, real, in-person hug!!!! Love to you, Thor, and Sura. And prayers for Gloria in anticipation of her successful transplant surgery. ??????????

  5. Thinking of you and so happy to read this update! I’m so glad that the surgery and recovery phase 1 has gone well. Your courage is a huge inspiration to me – and your joy in sharing with Gloria will bring so much to her life and her family’s for years to come. Please keep us posted with updates!!! Happy Holidays to you and your family.

    1. Stephanie, thanks for your unflagging support and especially for your volunteer work with other cancer survivors.

  6. Healing and Gratitude Thoughts and Prayers flowing your way. Website told me I/we already said this. Saying it again in your recovery stage, and for that matter, beyond recovery.


    Ed & Linda

  7. Alison
    Thinking of you every day, grateful to know you are feeling better each day, proud of you for the sharing you have demonstrated yet again, this time in a most powerful way.
    With all good wishes

    1. Susan, I appreciate your affirmation. And thank you for the thousands of postcards to Georgia that you have organized!

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