As a Sensei, my blog entries are typically themed around observations about my experience in the dojo. This entry is different. I wanted to write a personal note to share a significant upcoming event in my personal life.
In this blog entry from 2013, I shared how karate training helped me to regain my strength when I had a medical crisis back in 1999. While my health status is not a secret, I tend not to discuss it in a professional setting, so people are often surprised to find out that I have Lupus and Lupus-related kidney disease. For the past 20 years, I have managed my disease with a strict renal diet, medication and exercise, which has staved off the inevitable for much longer than anyone could have guessed.
Earlier this year, I learned that my kidney function had dropped below 10% and I would require a kidney transplant within the next few months. We had planned for this eventuality; 5 years ago, my sister volunteered as a living donor and was found to be a perfect genetic match. At the time, we had hoped that the surgery would take place in late spring in order to minimize the disruption to our professional lives. My sister Sarah is a professor in London UK, so like a karate sensei, taking time off from teaching is far easier during the summer.
We did not, however, anticipate the complications of trying to schedule a transplantation surgery during a global pandemic. My sister living in London just added to the complexity. The past few weeks of waiting for news from the clinic has been challenging.
Thankfully, the transplant clinic has reopened and our surgery is scheduled for July 22, 2020.This procedure will have an enormous impact on my quality of life. While I am in recovery, Kyoshi Mike will teach classes at the dojo over the summer. I will be back at the dojo, teaching in my full capacity by September.
This is not the end of my story, but I will pause for now. Thank you for your support during these interesting times.