A grateful heart for a healthy kidney

I've performed several times in Bill and Melanie Jeschke's church, just outside Washington DC.

I'll be doing a workshop tomorrow morning in Chicago (no rain here), so if anyone catches the show, please post a report in a comment below.
In Christ alone,
Rich

Tune in to the TODAY Show this Friday morning Oct 14 and when they scan the crowd outside of Rockefeller Center, be on the lookout for our dear friend and adopted sister and auntie Inece Bryant (she'll be wearing bright yellow and holding a big sign), her friend Toni, niece Amber, and me. We're going up to celebrate Inece's 50th birthday and she wants to publicly thank my husband Bill for donating his kidney to her so that she could live to enjoy 50 years of life (and many more!) Please read her letter below to the Today Show.
Blessings,
Melanie
PS Let's hope and pray that she gets her birthday wish and will be on the show!

Melanie Jeschke
Author of The Oxford Chronicles
InklingsAuthor.com

From: Bryant Inece
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 7:41 PM
To: 'today@nbc.com'
Subject: Just to say "Thank You"
Hello Today Show!

I am part of the millions I like to think of as "family" who enjoy watching you each morning. I particularly enjoy the health, cooking, and human interest segments. However, I must say my favorite is the interaction that happens when the "1st Family" are outside and talk with the many people who come see them.
For that reason I wanted to write you. Next week at this time I will be in New York. I'm coming solely for one purpose and one purpose only. I want to say "Thank You." Please hear me out.
In 1994 I was diagnosed with Renal Failure. I was told that I would probably need a Kidney Transplant within 10 years. In 2003 that came true. My kidney function was down to about 10%. Thousands of people die every year waiting for an organ transplants. When my time came I did not have to wait. I had four people in line to be tested. The forerunner was William H. (Bill) Jeschke. You may wonder why (a) good looking "white" man of nine children would donate his kidney to this single black female. Well, for that answer you need to ask Bill. I personally look at (his picture) and wonder why any one unrelated would be so compelled to donate their kidney. Bill and Melanie have been married close to 30 years and are the proud parents of nine beautiful and talented children and 3 adorable granddaughters. They are both graduates of The University of Virginia (UVA). Bill isthe Pastor of The King's Chapel in Fairfax, Virginia, and coaches soccer. Melanie taught English for two years before starting their family, then became a stay at home mom, homeschooler and writer/author. Bill is one who lives his faith passionately. He's a kind man with a big and generous heart. When I told him he didn't have to do this, his response was, "Inece, this is a no-brainer. You need a kidney, I have two. I only wish I had more I could donate to others." A "no-brainer" he kept telling me. This is still incomprehensible to me. Even though I'd been friends with the Jeschke family for 16 years, I didn't expect this. I didn't even ask him. He just so willing came forward (no pomp and circumstances). In 2001 both Bill and his youngest daughter (who was 18 at the time) donated blood to me when I had to have another surgery. Now, we are more than friends. We are a family bonded together not only by Jeschke blood and kidney, but by a loving God who continues to show us that agape love goes beyond race, gender and class. It looks at the need and heart of humankind and responds accordingly.
I could never repay Bill for what he has given to me, but I intend to thank him for the rest of my life, for my life. Since October is Clergy Appreciation Month, the anniversary of the first Kidney Transplant and on October 14th, my 50th birthday, I just wanted to find a way to thank him (and the many donors and donor families) for the gift of life that's been given to me.
On October 14th I'll be at Rockefeller Center holding my sign with the attached photo on it to say a big "THANK YOU" to this wonderful man with a huge heart. I haven't a clue as to where to stand but I do hope and pray you will see me (and a few other friends including Melanie Jeschke) and put it on for him to see (and the many viewers). He's a special person who deserves a special thanks. I might not have reached 50 if it weren't for Bill and the many wonderful people who prayed for me as well.
Thank you for reading this and thank you in advance for your assistance.

My Very Best Regards,
Inece Y. Bryant

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