Westport 12-4-2010

If all goes well, by the time you read this Molly Rascoe will have a new, fully functioning kidney. That will allow her to end, at last, the grueling trips to Fletcher Allen for dialysis that she's been enduring three times a week for the last couple of years. It will be a triumphant moment for Molly, her family, and her many friends in town. It will also be a triumph for the community as a whole, which rallied so enthusiastically to her support.

Transplant Day, as the hospital calls it, is Wednesday, Dec. 1. Arriving at the hospital for the 6 a.m. start to the process will be not only Molly and her family, but also my friend Ben Sudduth and his family. Ben, whose daughters attend WCS with Molly and her sister, is the donor who will be giving up a kidney for Molly.

There are a lot of things about this process I find inspiring. First, there's the fact that Ben was one of several people in town who went through the arduous screening process to see if their kidneys would be compatible with Molly. Ben "won" this contest, but he wasn't the only one in the mix. As far as I'm concerned, this says everything you need to know about the kind of people who live around here.

As for Ben, he's thrilled. "This is the most exciting thing I've ever done," he told me last Monday, two days before Transplant Day. I'd told him I was interested in giving readers a look into the process, and he'd invited me to accompany him to Fletcher Allen for the final round of checks. First stop was the lab on the 2nd floor, where he had blood drawn for yet another crosscheck. Then up to the 5th floor a pre-operative physical. Then back down to the 3rd floor for a pre-op visit with the anesthesiologist. "What a great chance to do something real for somebody," he told me along the way with a big grin. "I feel really lucky to have the opportunity." Hats off to you, Ben. More on Ben and Molly next week.

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