After working together at Blue Care Network’s call center for 15 years, Angela Bell and Deirdre Wade knew their office was tight-knit, but neither of them could have guessed how much closer they would become.
In 2012, Deirdre’s husband, Danny, was told that due to his diabetes and hypertension, he would eventually need dialysis or a kidney transplant. But after going in for a dialysis consultation, Danny said there was no way he could go through the grueling process. And considering many wait five to 10 years on the kidney recipient list before they receive one, the only hope for Danny was to get a kidney directly from a donor.
As this was going on, Deirdre shared her husband’s story with the close-knit team in the call center, which became a support group of sorts for her. And that’s when, without any request from Deirdre, Angela stepped up to the plate. To Deirdre’s shock, Angela enthusiastically volunteered to donate one of her kidneys to Danny.
“We all stand in need of something, and to be in a position where I know I’m healthy and can help someone else out is a blessing,” Angela said when asked how she came to the decision to go under the knife. “For me, there was no hesitation and no fear.” The three agreed the key takeaway from this experience was that others be educated about live organ donation and consider donating if they can. They also encourage companies to support their donor employees as they go through the intense and selfless process.
During the time Angela, Danny and Deirdre spent in the hospital, the trio noticed the enormous amount of support that came from Blue Care Network employees and leadership before, during and after their procedures. Their entire Blue Care Network team filled up the waiting room, sent lunch over for everyone, checked up on them and mailed cards while Angela and Danny were recuperating. “The culture here is very family-oriented,” says Angela. “Everyone is so supportive, encouraging and congratulating us all the time.”
Both Angela and Danny are on the mend now and the BCN call center is stronger than ever. “We were all close before,” says Deirdre. “But now we’re family.”
To learn more about organ donation, please visit Gift of Life Michigan or call 800-482-4881.