Ober Oberata — “It is done in the doing.”

Alive Again: Celebrating 2 Years of Life, Post-Transplant

I’ve been away from the blog for a while, so apologies to my ones of readers who are, no doubt, scratching their heads and asking, “Who is this “Oberata” and who subscribed me to a stupid blog?”

Regardless, as I approach the 2-year milestone for having had my life-saving kidney transplant, I wanted to give you a good report of my life goings-on, which are the direct-result of receiving the gift of life.  I also wanted to say another epic thank-you to the heroes in the story.

When I tell people about my kidney transplant experience, I make sure to tell them the blunt truth about the year leading up to it: “I was dying.”

But as you might hope, two years later, I’m alive and well.  Since that fateful day on 12/6/11, I have thrived, and it’s all because of some beautiful, selfless people I can hardly repay.


Here’s my donor, Laura Horelica, and I during the moments leading up to the surgery.  I never, ever saw any fear, hesitation, or doubt in her.  Always laughing and smiling, she told me, “I always knew I’d do something like this!”  She sounded as if she were about to go bungee-jumping.


Here we have my ‘actual’ donor, Nadia, and her sister, Susan, who received Laura’s kidney.  The swap was done in order to maximize the results for the patients.  Nadia was a better match for me, and Laura was better for Susan.  You can not understand how awesome and beautiful these people are.  So loving and caring and understanding and cool and amazing.  OK, I’m gushing, but come ON.  We’re talking about REMOVING PERFECTLY HEALTHY KIDNEYS FROM THEIR BODIES.

YES, I am alive, alive, alive! The last two years?  Amazing.  Here’s proof:


I’m teaching high school Spanish full time.  What a blast.  ¡Es fantástico!


I’m also about to start my 3rd year teaching the varsity tennis team.  Does it get any better?


I am also feeling well enough to play tennis, and usually get out about twice a week.  Here’s my doubles partner, Tyler Hamel, and I last November.  We won a doubles tournament at our local club, and advanced to Colorado Springs for the 2nd level of the event.  Awesome stuff!


I went to the US OPEN!!!! Last year, Colleen and I were treated by my mother to these ridiculous court-side seats.  Colleen took the picture from her seat. . . it was right there!  I could have high-fived Djokovic when he came in.  NYC was great.


I get to enjoy stuff like this!!!

IMG_0574 And this . . . 15 pounder!


I get to see Josh win district!!


Did I mention I get to see these munchkins off to another first day of school?


OH, and most importantly, I get to enjoy life with my beautiful Colleen.  In case my doctors are seeing this, that’s a non-alcoholic Corona.

Speaking of docs, my amazing and comical hematologist  told me recently that, in her circle of medical professionals, they never say, “X patient has died.”  It’s too coarse, I suppose, or maybe too morbid for daily repetition.  She said that, instead, they say, “Mrs. Wilson went to Chicago.” 

Guys, I am NOT going to Chicago.  I am alive, I am here, and I’m fortunate enough to be embracing life and doing what I enjoy.  So if you’re down, or hurt, or suffering for any reason, maybe this can give you a bit of hope, comfort, joy, or strength.

Thanks to all of my loved ones and friends.  Thank you Laura and Nadia.  Onward we go . . .


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I'm not much of a poetry guy, but my fledgling-poet mom inked some brilliant verse recently.  Inspired by the tree-wrecking drought of 2001, in which Kingwood was hit especially hard, this beautiful poem emerged.   - JT DOOMED by Patricia … [Continue reading]

14 Insane Valentines by my 2nd grader

Valentine's Cards

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Kidney Transplant – By The Numbers

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10 . . . years since Lupus diagnosis. 2 . . . years since heart surgery (single bypass) due to Lupus complications, atherosclerosis. 1.5. . . years since my nephrologist said, "It's time to find a kidney donor." 42 . . . days since the … [Continue reading]

A Thank You To My Kidney Donor(s) & Others

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What's kidney failure like? Depressing answer.  Yet, I've been wanting to properly thank the people involved in rescuing me from it, so I felt like I should answer the question. (deletes two paragraphs) No, I will leave it to your imagination. … [Continue reading]