[Noozhawk’s note: In a story scooped by Noozhawk, Randy Weiss on June 12 donated a kidney to Katherine Pinedo, a colleague at Santa Barbara Bank & Trust. Both have recovered and are back at work, and each has become an outspoken supporter of organ transplants.]
Ever have one of those ditties rattling around your head, over and over and driving you absolutely bananas?
Me, too! And now again — compliments of a cheap 99-cent iTunes download — diva Whitney Houston and her “One Moment in Time” classic tune is trapped inside my cranium. Only for the last three weeks. Seems longer. Hey, you hearing this, too?!?
Each day I live … I want to be … A day to give … the best of me … I’m only one … but not alone … My finest day is yet unknown … I want one moment in time when I’m more than I thought I could be …
Then last Friday at 3:21 a.m. it struck me. On the 457th play, small mental snapshots started syncing with the soundtrack in my head — a personal music video of donating a kidney to my new “kid sister” Katherine “Kat” Pinedo, a senior teller and young colleague at Santa Barbara Bank & Trust.
Back in April, Kat responded honestly to my “How are you doing?” with “It would only be better if I had a kidney.” When I offered mine — it fulfilled a self-made promise 10 years ago to seize such a life-saving opportunity, if ever presented. So, it’s like Whitney is singing directly to me …
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away and the answers are all up to me …
I soon raced to get into the best shape of my adult life. Took many months. Lost 40 pounds! I believe that in saving Kat’s life, she was saving mine, as well. Take it away, Whitney:
I live to be the very best … I want it all … no time for less … I’ve laid the plans … Now lay the chance … Here in my hands …
Then five months ago, on June 12, the moment of truth: successful surgery! Kat’s new kidney worked immediately and better than expected.
Whitney … hello?
Give me one moment in time when I’m racing with destiny … then in that moment in time I will feel eternity.
And then the best part. Shortly before Kat’s September return to work, she defined success as we were taping a local cable show. “It’s being about able to live your dreams … I’ve met my first goal of getting a transplant … It opens up the world to me … I want to start a family … With Randy’s kidney, he’s given me the opportunity to do that,” she said.
WOW! I couldn’t believe it! It was in this moment when I knew two new lives — and maybe more — were now all before us to live to the fullest every day. I took Whitney’s lyrics to heart:
You’re a winner for a lifetime … if you seize that one moment in time … Make it shine … Give me one moment in time when I’m more than I thought I could be … Then in that one moment in time … I will be free.
So on Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for many things — for Kat’s health, for all who supported us on this truly remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime journey — and for this very special moment when life shines ever-so-brightly. Actually twice as bright as before! Yes, it’s certainly more than I ever hoped it could be.
Right, Whitney? Whitney? Hey, where did she go?!
— Randy Weiss is community relations manager at Santa Barbara Bank & Trust.