Saturday, March 15, 2003

Kidney donation a lesson


Faith Matters

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

WYOMING - When Rev. Bob Rademaker took his post as rector of the Church of the Ascension and Holy Trinity on Feb. 1 he was missing something.

But what the 47-year-old Episcopal priest lost - a kidney - has only improved his ability to minister at the church, 334 Burns Ave."It's rather strange to know there is a part of you in Edmonds, Wash.," he said. "But I think (donating a kidney) is something everyone should consider. The need is so acute. God gives most of us two kidneys, and I have to think that's for a reason."

Rademaker donated his kidney in early December to a member of his previous congregation in Hartland, Wis.

The 44-year-old woman, a nurse and mother of two, battled renal failure for 20 years. She'd had strep throat and didn't finish all her antibiotics. The bacteria spread to her kidneys.

"There's a lesson in that for everyone. The temptation is to take enough pills to feel better and then save the rest. You have to take them all," Rademaker said.

The woman is now doing well and has since moved to Washington.

"This was one of the ultimate acts of stewardship. It's a matter of what we do with what we have, whether it be time, talent, financial resources or in this case, health," he said.

More than 50,000 people in the United States need kidney transplants.

Rademaker is still collecting his thoughts on the impact the donation has had on his life.

"It's hard to articulate how my spirituality has changed. I need to put a little distance and gain a little wisdom first," he said.

But he knows it had an impact on at least one part of his ministry.

"When I woke up back in my room, I felt and looked like an absolute train wreck," he said. "Having been a hospital patient with major abdominal surgery, I have more empathy for those I visit in the hospital."

He also has a great appreciation for medical workers, particularly the staff at University Hospital in Madison, Wis.

"And although he's a little slow in recovering, he'd do it again. "For several days it was very painful, but even knowing what I know now, I wouldn't hesitate," Rademaker said. "It's a temporary discomfort, but it's a gift for a lifetime."

Purim celebrated

Purim , a Jewish holiday celebrated about one month before Passover, commemorates the saving of the Jewish community under Persian rule from genocide by an anti-Semitic government.

The holiday, which begins Tuesday, brings hope to Jews in time of persecution. It is typically celebrated at synagogue with the reading of the Scroll of Esther , or the Megillah , an accounting of the way the Jews were saved.

Spring revival

Springvale Baptist Church, 1700 Clark Drive, Goshen Township , will host a spring revival Wednesday through Sunday with services at 7 p.m. nightly and at 11 a.m. Sunday . Brother Don Piercy from Greenfield (Ohio) Baptist Mission, will be the evangelist.

For information, call 575-9104 or 575-9106 .

Send religion items to kvance@fuse.net or fax to 755-4150.




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