Kidney transplant recipient encourages donors

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by SHELLY SLATER

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaashelly

WFAA

Posted on November 9, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 10 at 2:30 PM

A kidney transplant gave Jennifer Cox a second shot at life... and a new perspective.

Through organ donation she has learned, she has loved, and she has lost.  "My church family has just held me up over all these years," she said.

Jennifer Cox's name had been on an organ waiting list until that magical moment when she got a call from her doctor.

"I said, 'Oh... you're calling me because you have a kidney for me,'  teasing, and he said, 'Yes, I do!'"

On that day, Cox's life turned around — but the Jones family lost a loved one.

"We did stop and pray for that family," Cox said.

Jennifer Cox later met the widow of the organ donor. "After meeting her, I really greived; I really did grieve, because I saw what a wonderful dad he was, and how much she loved her husband," Cox said. "It was like I got to know him."

That grief soon became even more personal for Cox.  Her own daughter, Tiffany, passed away after battling lupus for years. She, too, had been on and off a waiting list for a kidney.

"Even though Tiffany had been sick, we just never thought she would pass," Cox said. "It's been difficult. I've had pain I didn't even know you could have."

But she hopes to turn pain into promise by encouraging organ donation. Because as her donor family pointed out, while we look different on the outside, we're really all the same.

"She knew he would be so happy because she felt it was the ultimate form of integration," Cox said.

Jennifer Cox is now awaiting a second kidney transplant to replace her left kidney. She already has a donor who has come forward wanting to help.

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com

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