One donor's story: Dianne Foote

  • Duluth
  • Organ
  • Living Donor: 2010

I am a wife of 25 years to my husband George Foote, a mother to 5 amazing children and 5 beautiful grandchildren. I have lived in Duluth Minnesota for most of my life. I graduated from UMD with a BA degree in Urban & Regional Planning. I spend time at work at Essentiahealth; volunteering at my parish of St. Mary’s Star of the Sea; having fun with my kids and grandkids and helping with the needs of my mom and aunt in their retirement years.

Passing on my values to my children and grandchildren is very important to me. I was raised with a pro-life attitude in all aspects of my life and to respect what this country stands for. I teach my children to respect all people in all walks of life and to stand firm for the promise of what this country was built for. I have taught them to stand up for those weaker than themselves. To give a helping hand to those in need. To love God and country.

I became a donor simply because the opportunity presented itself. I was in my early teens when I first learned of organ donation and how it benefits those who are the recipients. At that time, I felt very strongly that it would be something I would one day want to do. Through the years, I have donated blood and tried to get on the bone marrow transplant list. I went so far as to not only put it on my driver’s license, but to make sure my family members knew about it and would follow my wishes if something should happen to me. Then, one day in August 2010, I was volunteering at my parish’s rummage sale and my former director and friend stopped by. I asked her how her husband was doing, because I knew he’d been sick. She explained that he was not doing well and that he needed a kidney donor. His spirits were low and he had resigned himself to the fact that he didn’t have long to live. So I asked her to give me a call and give me the information to see if I was a match and could help in some way. I didn’t think much would come of it. Within a week, I was given a kit to bring to the lab with me to send down a blood sample. Not long after that, they said I was a good match, but there would be more test to take before the OK. So, I went for my physical, chest x-ray and ekg with more blood work. A couple of weeks go by and they give me another green light and say, OK, now you need a CT scan. Off we go again and take a trip to the cities for this next test. By October, I was told to get a pre-op scheduled because everything was a go. Meanwhile, I had to decide when to tell my husband what I was planning. I didn’t tell him in the beginning because I didn’t think anything would happen. But as I passed each test, I knew I would have to bring it up to him. I knew he was personally against organ donation and so I prayed about it before giving him my news. My prayers were very helpful because he found it facinating rather than frightening. He also knew he wasn’t going to change my mind about this. My friend didn’t let her husband know about my possible donation because his hopes had been up before and it didn’t work out. Once we knew for sure things were working out, she filled him in on everything. In fact, we didn’t meet until our official pre-op at HCMC before the planned surgery. The surgery went beautifully on November 30, 2010 without a hitch. I recommend that people look into this and pray about it. But make an educated decision based on facts, not heresay. When I let my friends know what I was planning to do, the first question out of their mouths was always, “what if your going to need that kidney some day?” I replyed that sharing is caring, that’s why God gave us two.

Dianne Foote