The Special Green Piece and What Does it Mean? April is Organ Donor Awareness Month and as a Living Kidney Donor, I painted a piece special to my heart bringing awareness to being a living kidney donor.

Living Kidney Donor | Living Donor Awareness and Art

It has been 4 months since I gave one of the most important gifts I will ever give to another human being. My Kidney. Kim is one of my good friends and my husband and her husband have known each other since the start of their military career. Both being from New England they started their journey in to the Air Force together, ended up at the same first base and now we are stationed at the same base again. I met Kim 2 years ago when we moved to Cheyenne, WY. I know Kim was sick and that she was on the waiting list for a kidney, jokingly I told her she could have my kidney. We laughed it off, but if you know me you know I never offer things or promise things I don’t mean.

Fast forward a year and a half and Kim’s condition was getting worse and worse, she had already suffered a stroke from her dying kidney, multiple blood transfusions, compromised immune system, you name it, it was happening. Kim has a genetic disorder called IgA nephropathy, also known as Berger’s disease. Kim’s mother had already donated her kidney to her 10 years prior when she was very sick. Her husband’s blood type wasn’t a match and the pair program wasn’t looking promising.  Kim has two boys 6 and 16; I just thought I couldn’t let these boys lose their mom. When I found out that Kim was told by her doctors that she could no longer wait for a kidney from the list but needed to actively find a donor I was heartbroken. I could not imagine asking ANYONE for that sacrifice. Something drove me to feel like I was meant to do this, so without even thinking I wrote Kim and said tell me what I need to do. I am sure she thought I was just one of those well meaning people that offer help but never really means it. NOT ME!

Fast forward a few months and extensive testing and I got a call from my nurse coordinator, sitting on my garage floor painting (of course). WE WERE A MATCH! I called Kim at work and I think my exact words were “Hey girl, you want my kidney? It’s yours!” Kim was given until Dec 2017 to find a kidney and we went in for surgery on the 5th of Dec. Giving Kim my kidney was one of the most amazing decisions I have EVER made, we didn’t see each other for a month after the surgery to minimize her exposure to germs and the like. The minute I saw her I could not believe how beautiful and full of life she looked, to me that was all I needed to know she will be okay. Kim is a cardiac nurse and just as stubborn and strong-willed as I am so I believe we were put into each other’s lives by no accident. She is doing amazingly as am I and it was the best experience I could ever ask for.

April is Organ Donor Awareness Month. Kidney Disease is identified with a green ribbon. So for the month of April I will be doing a special piece in green and auctioning it off to the highest bidder, ALL of the proceeds will be donated to The National Kidney Foundation.

For the month of April I chose to do a piece of furniture that is green. Here is my piece completed.

One of the first steps of this piece was to remove the original hardware, I always remove the hardware on my pieces before I start prepping them or working on them. After removing the hardware I sand down the piece, if there are parts of the piece that need to be wood filled or reinforced or repaired I do that at this point as well. This piece was almost perfect and need very little prep or repair.

In order to achieve the subtle ombre look on this piece I mixed the following colors and in this order from bottom to top.

Dixie Belle Mineral Chalk Paint

Evergreen and Caviar Mix

Evergreen

Evergreen and Kudzu Mix

Kudzu

After painting and letting the paint dry thoroughly I applied Artisan Enhancements  Leaf and Foil Sizing, after that became tacky I applied the copper leaf. I replaced the original hardware with real copper piping to add a special uniqueness and to ensure the piece would be a one of a kind on top of all of the other special elements. I also had my little helpers hanging out with me while I worked. 

The last part of this piece was to add shading with wax, I used Sweet Pickins Dark Wax.

This piece has found it’s forever home already and I could not be more thrilled but it was a tough descison to actually put it up for sale. This piece means a lot to me and well it’s just a unique piece that was made with a lot of love.