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A weekly roundup of ideas to Uplift! yourself and where you can join in lively discussions to make ROAMcare what we are.


Staying Alive

Not long ago we posted Today. Non-negotiable about losses we had already experienced in the young year. Although prompted by solemn, sad moments, it was really a celebration of personal worth and adaptability. We closed it with, “Sometimes it takes death for us to see the value we bring to life. Value you do bring. A value only you can bring, and the world is better for it.” We’ve added a new month to the year and a new loss…and a new message of hope to go with it.


Michael noticed the article in his local paper from a few weeks ago. An obituary. Not one of the many paid notices that brings everyone a few moments of fame but an extended news article, detailing the life and times of a man who made a difference to hundreds of people. A physician. But not any physician. A surgeon. But not any surgeon. A transplant surgeon. But not any transplant surgeon. One of the team that performed Michael’s kidney transplant now nearly 5 years ago.


This is the story as Michael told it to Diem last week.


I saw an obituary for Dr. V. yesterday. I don’t know if I ever told you about him. He was part of the transplant team. Of all the people at the hospital I had caring for me then, he is the one I really remember. The crazy thing is I only met with him one time and that was a month after I was discharge for a routine follow-up. That was all five years ago this summer.


He wasn’t supposed to be part of the team. With all the problems I had with the bladder cancer they wanted a urological surgeon to consult. So they called him to look at the scans and get his opinion. He volunteered right then to scrub in and be ready if any problems came up. I didn’t know this until I read the article in the paper, but he used to do things like that all the time. He was always ready to just be ready.


As soon as I saw the name in the headline it came back to me. He was so full of life and positive energy. I remember him telling me, “A failed transplant is not the end of the world. There is a reason. You are strong and you keep fighting and someday you will find why. By then you will have done more for yourself than all of us could have.” He knew a life a worth living and as far as he was concerned, that was every life, and for as long as possible.


He was right. It was far from the end of the world. I still don’t know all the whys behind it, but I keep looking and keep fighting, making it a life worth living!


He was an interesting man, what doctors should be. A beacon of hope and positivity. His very presence called out for people to live. I guess he was born with it. After all, his very name called for life.


Michael continues to fight for his life, a life still worth living, meeting new people, taking on new projects, making a difference if he can, hoping to refresh and reenergize others while they recognize their lives as lives worth living.


It’s worth repeating.  “Sometimes it takes death for us to see the value we bring to life. Value you do bring. A value only you can bring, and the world is better for it.”


Rest in peace Dr. Vivas. In your native language your name means “alive.” How fitting then that in your own way, you had kept so many so very much alive.

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