update: my boss wants to give me his kidney — but I don’t want it

Remember the letter-writer whose boss was pressuring her to take his kidney for the kidney transplant she needs? Here’s the update.

It’s only been a few days since I wrote in, but I wanted to update everyone with a (likely) resolution.

My younger sister turned 18 a few months ago and was tested to donate. She’s a match for tissue and blood, and my antibodies look good. It’s not a sure thing yet- we have to test multiple times for serum cross-match- but it looks really positive so far. My sister was adopted so I never expected her to be a match, but I have a common blood and HLA type and so does she so it turns out she is really compatible to me! It will be awhile before the surgery can be performed (we’ll have to undergo counseling, more tests, etc.), but I couldn’t pick a better person to get a kidney from. My sister is my best friend and now she’s saving my life, too.

My boss was ECSTATIC when I told him I thought my sister was a match. He even threw me a “Kidney Party” to celebrate.

I was able to use most of your script to graciously thank him for his offer to donate his own organ, but also lay out very concrete ways he can help me in the coming weeks – continued flexibility, understanding as I recover, etc. I also told him again how much I wish to get my treatments alone. He was very receptive to all of it. I may still have to manage his expectations for what I would appreciate (he offered to keep my children for me during the transplant so my husband can be present), but I’m mostly just appreciating that I work for such a kind person who I DON’T have to take a kidney from.

Some of the readers brought up that they thought my boss was romantically interested in me, or may have “hero” syndrome. I want to be clear that I don’t think that is the case. My boss and I are both very happily married, and while I know that that doesn’t completely rule out the reasons for his interest in helping me, I get a much more paternal vibe from him, and have absolutely zero reason to question his motives for wishing to donate to me.

I mentioned this in the comments, my boss is a former high-ranking military officer. I am also a former military officer and we work in a military hospital (I get my dialysis there actually, so it makes my boss’s visits during my treatment a little more understandable). In the military, and in healthcare in general, sometimes boundaries are a little more skewed than in a lot of traditional workplaces. I think my boss is used to doing whatever it takes to help his troops, and just hasn’t quite lost that sense of sacrifice.

I want to send a special thank you to a couple of your commenters, including a kidney doctor, who sent me not only positive wishes for better health, but also gave me a reality check and perspective on why maybe I should consider my boss’s offer if I need to. I am really glad that it looks like I won’t have to, but they were right. I have two little girls under the age of seven and I owe it to them to do whatever it takes to be there for them. I also really appreciated the few people who have either donated or received an organ that shared their experiences with me. Super helpful!

But I do want to mention that a few of the commenters were actually kind of rude. One person said something along the lines of “she knows she can die, right?” I thought that was really cruel. I am well aware of the severity of my health issues. I wrote in about what is very obviously a scary, serious thing and I just hope that the very small percentage of the readers who were less than sensitive in their comments are kinder in person if they ever encounter something similar in their lives. (This is Alison: I’m sorry about that!  I hope you will ignore them.)

Another issue brought up a couple times that I want to address so that it doesn’t deter people from donation: people over the age of 65 can donate organs! A few commenters said my boss’s age may preclude him from donating, but that’s not true. A healthy (this is the operative word for someone of any age wishing to donate) elderly person can donate.

There was a ton of great information on organ donation and organizations that support it in the comments and I am so grateful to those who shared it! Organ donation is so important to so many people and I really hope those who expressed interest in it will consider giving the gift of life.

I really appreciate your advice and the advice and well wishes of the majority of your readers! My journey isn’t over yet, but I am feeling a lot less scared.

{ 161 comments… read them below }

  1. Anna*

    Honestly, I find this so sweet and so happy. Your boss is awesome. You’re awesome, and best of luck! YAY!

    1. EddieSherbert*


      This is great news :) Good luck with your future surgery and recovery! We’ll keep you in our thoughts – and would totally appreciate continued updates, even if they aren’t necessarily work-related!

        1. MtnLaurel*

          I’m so happy to hear it! I had been wondering about you and sending good thoughts. And your kidney party sounds awesome!

          1. OP*

            It was so fun! It was one of those moments where I looked around and was truly amazed by how much support I have.

            1. April Ludgate*

              Hi OP just read both your posts , the original and the update. Rooting for a successful transplant and lots of good health for you and your sister. I teared up at the “Kidney Party” part as well. As awkward as your boss was, that is so nice. Sending you tons of positive vibes :) Agree with the others…keep us posted if you can:)

            2. Fergus, Stealer of Pens and Microwaver of Fish*

              Thank you for sharing your story and your update with us. Best of luck with the rest of your treatment!

          2. motherofdragons*

            I seriously teared up at “Kidney Party.” Just…so thoughtful and sweet and wholesome.

    2. Specialk9*

      Wonderful update, thank you.

      And I’m sorry that there were insensitive comments about a hugely scary time of your life. Most of us are 100% in your corner and are rooting for you all the way.

    3. Hills to Die on*

      I do too! I adore your boss and I am so glad you are working on a solution. Wishing you lots of health and happy times ahead!

    4. Turquoisecow*

      Me, too! This is a great update, OP! I hope things work out with your sister and you are able to live a long and happy life.

  2. Kimberlee, no longer Esq.*

    What a great update! And how wonderful to have a boss that wants to give you a kidney and, failing that, throws you a kidney party, which I have already imagined various decorations for. Best of luck with the transplant, however things end up!

    1. OP*

      So most of the décor was pretty tame, but he did serve lemonade that he had a sign announcing as “URINE good shape now!”

          1. Logan*

            It does make me wonder how long he’s been waiting for a party where he can use that pun!

      1. Merci Dee*

        I have to admit, I was wondering how many ways people found to sneak kidney beans into the party menu. :)

        Glad you’ve gotten some positive news! The journey’s not over yet, but everything looks brighter and more hopeful after an announcement like this. It always just seems to give you extra energy for the road to come. I will certainly be keeping you in my prayers in the coming weeks and months!

      2. H.C.*

        Ha, I was wondering about the edibles & potables served at the party. Hopefully no dishes with actual kidneys , but maybe kidney bean dip/salad or shapeable foods (cheese balls, decorated cakes) in kidney forms?

        1. OP*

          So the lemonade was the funniest one. And they didn’t serve kidney beans because I am on a low-protein diet, but there were kidney cookies that my boss’s wife made, jelly beans, etc.

        1. OP*

          I’m so glad because I felt really bad that I explained him so poorly before that people thought he was awful! He really is so funny and nice.

          1. Specialk9*

            I didn’t notice that I’m the comments, but may have missed it. Personally, I didn’t think he was awful, but I was initially wondering about romantic attachment too — because it is darned unusual to offer a new employee an actual kidney! I wouldn’t have thought of former military officer on my own, but when you brought it up I was like, oh, yeah, that could fit the situation.

            So not “awful” but “that’s weird what’s the underlying motive there”.

            1. Specialk9*

              Oh, and I’m still thinking he needs a better professional boundary around coming to your medical appointments. On the one hand it’s less effort than I was imagining (same hospital, not driving across town), but on the other I’d expect hospital workers to be super vigilant about HIPAA and privacy.

              Just encouraging you that it’s ok to speak up if that continues (you said he cut back significantly, which I interpret to mean he still does it after you hinted you didn’t want that). Someone doesn’t have to be mean, or have to *intend* to step over a boundary — sometimes nice people do it accidentally. But you can still set and guard that boundary, and also appreciate him as a person.

          2. MCMonkeyBean*

            Honestly even just the detail that you work at the hospital where you receive treatments made the fact that he kept showing up at your treatments a lot less weird! I mean it’s still important that he listen to you when you say you prefer to go through them alone, but I can really understand now how the boundaries there might not have been obvious to him.

          3. Nita*

            Aw, what a great update! Best of luck with your transplant. And your boss sounds like an awesome guy! I think his first reaction to offer his kidney makes a lot more sense since you’re military. That totally explains it.

        2. Iconic Bloomingdale*

          Ditto. I would have totally appreciated that type of humorous touch.

          I am glad your dilemma seems to have worked out though. Wishing you success and all the best in your recovery.

      3. [insert witty username here]*

        OMG that sign is amazing!

        So glad you have some good news. Best of luck to you and your sister – what an amazing thing. And kudos again to your boss – so glad you have great support there. The explanation that y’all work in the hospital where you are treated makes his stopping by during your treatments a bit less intense! But hopefully he will be respectful of the boundaries you set in the future.

      4. NJ Anon*

        Thetes a website called either Uncommon Goods or Uncommon Gifts that sells various”stuffed animal-like” organs. And, yes, they have kidneys!

      5. Ophelia*

        OMG that is hilarious/terrible/awesome.

        OP, I’m so glad this is working out well, and it’s wonderful that you have such a great support system–including your boss!

        1. Kuododi*

          Mazel Tov!!! Speaking as someone who also struggles with kidney disease (Thankfully not as advanced to be discussing transplantation at this time) Iam delighted to hear your good news!!! Best wishes for continued healing and recovery!!!

  3. Future Homesteader*

    Yay!! Good luck – we’ll be thinking of you and your sister! (And I’m relieved to hear that you work where you have your dialysis – that makes the visits make a lot more sense.)

  4. CatCat*

    Great update, OP! I hope everything goes smoothly with the matching and transplant process!

    You’ve handled this so well. Your boss sounds very well-meaning, you successfully have established some boundaries, and it sounds like you have mutual respect.

    Please update us again in the future on your progress.

    1. OP*

      Thank you! He’s a really great guy. I wish I had better explained how much I like him and why in the original letter!

    2. AnonEMoose*

      This is such an amazing update! Please do keep us informed (to the extent that you are comfortable) on how things are going, OP.

      Your mention that you and your boss are both ex-military makes me wonder. I’ve never been in the military, so could be way, way off. But from what I’ve picked up from various friends/people I know, it seems like the really good officers really care about taking care of their people. Based on your description, it sounds like your boss might be a bit like that.

      Many good thoughts for you, OP, and I hope everything works out in the best possible way for you and your family!

  5. justsomeone*

    Hooray! So glad your sister looks like a match! Best wishes for a smooth road to recovery.
    I did find that the extra context about your workplace being the hospital at which you receive your treatments, and your boss’s (and your) military background. That does remove some of the feelings of boundary crossing that some of us reacted to.

  6. NJ Anon*

    This is great news! My brother needed a kidney and one of my sisters was a perfect match which the doctor said was unusual-not sure why. It’s been 2 years and both are doing great. Best of luck, OP!

    1. Southern Ladybug*

      My father’s brother gave him a kidney almost 15 years ago. Both are still doing amazingly well. I wish you and your sister the best OP!

  7. Sedna*

    Hooray, what excellent news!!! I’m wishing all the best for you & your sister to be a great match & for you both to have easy surgeries & fast recoveries!

  8. Detective Amy Santiago*

    Sending positive, healing vibes to both you and your sister!

    Please send in another update in a few months and let us know how you’re doing.

  9. ItsOnlyMe*

    Such wonderful news! Sending warm wishes and blessings to you and your sister, you are so lucky to be surrounded by such love and support.

    My friend’s son was saved through organ donation, an organ donated by an amazing stranger. Organ Donation saves lives.

    1. Uranus wars*

      When we lost my uncle we donated as many of his organs as we could. The letters my grandparents received from the donors and the appreciation they had for his choice to be an organ donor still makes me tear up when I think about them, and it’s been 17 years.

      1. ItsOnlyMe*

        That’s really lovely. I hope they found comfort through his amazing generosity.

  10. Marion Ravenwood*

    Great news OP! Fingers crossed all goes smoothly from here and wishing you and your sister speedy recoveries. And how sweet of your boss to throw you a kidney party!

  11. sleepy baby*

    Congratulations and sending you well wishes for your recovery!
    I’m such a huge proponent of people being organ donors after seeing my mom wait years on the liver transplant list and not receiving one. So seeing so many people in your life want to give the gift of life (even if it could be misguided) is very heartening

  12. palomar*

    THRILLED to hear this update, OP, and all crossable appendages are crossed for luck for you.

  13. Liane*

    Good wishes etc. for both you and your sister! Glad your boss is one of the good ones. And yes, “One of MY People,” is a very real and powerful thing in the military; although a civilian, I have seen it in action once or twice.

  14. Murphy*

    What great news! For many reasons! I hope everything goes well for you and your sister!

  15. not really a lurker anymore*

    So glad to read this update. Good wishes and comforting thoughts from an internet stranger!

  16. Elspeth McGillicuddy*

    I must say, there is a very obvious motive for your boss wanting to give you his kidney. He doesn’t want you to die! No need for romantic creepiness or martyr complexes.

    Good luck with your sister’s kidney.

  17. Bookworm*

    Thank you for the update and the additional context. Glad it looks like it will work out (hopefully). Maybe, if possible, will you let us know when it’s all said and done and you’ve had the surgery? Respect for your privacy, of course, but we’re all rooting for you.

  18. Dame Judi Brunch*

    So glad to hear such a positive update!
    Good luck and good health to you!

  19. waxedpaperdoor*

    Long time lurker de-lurking to say how thrilled I am at this update! Hope all goes well for you and your sister in the coming months, OP.

  20. Tata*

    Thank you for the update! I’m excited to hear that your sister is able to donate.

  21. Nonsensical*

    Military people are very closeknit and tight. I have great respect for them having worked with a few of them in my time. My best boss is a veteran. I also know he donated his kidney to a complete stranger, not because anyone asked him to but out of complete kindness.

    On the other note, I completely understand people pushing medical advice down your throat. I am an unique position where I have a condition that can kill me at any time without brain surgery. People try to help out of compassion and I’ve seen people threaten other people with my condition out of concern. I know it must be exhausting with how you must be constantly juggling balls to keep your health up and take care of your children.

    Keep your head held up high and keep your eye on the ball. Don’t let people here knock you down. You’re already so much tougher than most people have to be in a lifetime. I wish you nothing but the best.

  22. Muriel Heslop*

    This is such a wonderful update! Sending the best to you and your sister for a great outcome.

  23. Amber Rose*

    I’m not surprised that people jumped to weird conclusions exactly, but it never would have occurred to me that your boss was anything other than a little over-enthusiastic in trying to be helpful. Some people just jump head first into things and need a reminder to dial it back a bit.

    I’m glad that things seem to be working out in your favor OP. :)

    1. Lil Fidget*

      Hehehe I have occasionally gotten swept up in Wild Mass Guessing in various contexts. Once or twice someone really hits on something that makes the original writer go, “huh” – most most of the time, we don’t have enough context to be playing. And occasionally it can be very hurtful to the writer.

      Now I remind myself that if I’m making a leap, I need to start my comment with something like – “I’m probably way off base but found myself wondering X.”

  24. Lil Fidget*

    I think most of the people who write in later end up saying, “most of the comments were so helpful … except a few.” I think this is about as good a community as I’ve encountered anywhere on the web – and way better than most – but it remains difficult for EVERYONE to remember that the letter writers are real people who will probably read the comments, and that seemingly innocent slights can really sting when it’s about your real life. I’m not sure there’s a cure for this, beyond begging pardon of letter writers, asking them to overlook insensitivity, and trying to continue respectful policing of our own community.

    1. Specialk9*

      Yeah, I need this reminder! I don’t think that was one that got me very riled, but other letters have. So thanks, OP, for calling it out.

    2. myswtghst*

      I think we all have our hot button topics (either due to personal experience or current events), and sometimes we get so focused on the discussion around those topics that we forget there is a real person who was seeking real advice and guidance at the heart of the discussion. I really appreciate the OP’s willingness to call out that bad behavior – it’s a good reminder for all of us to keep that in mind.

      1. Lil Fidget*

        Yeah exactly, it feels like it’s about the ISSUE – and it is, that’s what makes the discussion interesting – but to the person who wrote in, it’s not a piece of a larger phenomenon, it’s the specifics of their actual life.

  25. Higher Ed Database Dork*

    Thank you for the update, so happy to hear that it looks like your sister is match! That is awesome!

    And yes about the older people being able to donate. My late aunt donated her organs and tissues upon her death, and her corneas were used to help someone recover their site – she was 78 years old and while other parts of her body where not in good health, her eyes were, and they were able to help someone.

    1. MsChanandlerBong*

      I wonder if the age guidelines are program-dependent. I have stage 3 kidney failure, and at one point, my kidney function was down to 19%. I consulted with a transplant specialist and was told no one over 65 could donate a kidney to me. (Turns out I am not a candidate for transplantation, so I’ve got to do everything I can to keep my remaining kidney function stable.)

      1. Logan*

        Donation can be very hard on a body, as apparently the recovery time for the donator is longer than for the recipient. So I can understand how some regions / countries will restrict by age, with the idea that it would be ethically problematic if the act of donating caused them to die.

        If someone dies in an accident at age 68 then I would hope that there aren’t age restrictions, provided that the person’s organs are reasonably healthy.

        1. Youngin*

          Yeah, alot of people are surprised by this. The recovery time is much longer for recipients overall, but I was in significantly more pain than my dad (I donated to him). I left the hospital after 4 days, and he left the following day, but he was walking around the same day and eating the following day. I couldn’t really eat anything substantial til 5-6 days later, and by substantial I mean soup lol

          It is very dependent on the hospital though, where I donated they wouldn’t accept live donators over 65. If the person has already passed away they would accept it up to 75 as long as the organ was healthy

      2. myswtghst*

        This made me curious, so I looked it up and organdonor.gov had the following stats, which make me think it is program-dependent (both for the age of the donor and the recipient):

        In 2017, more than 61 percent of all the people who received organ transplants were 50 or older. More than 19 percent of all organ transplant recipients were 65 or older.

        In 2017, 1 out of every 3 people who donated organs was over the age of 50. You’re never too old to make a difference.

        My dad was one of the 19% – he turned 67 a few weeks before his single lung transplant last year, and was one of the older recipients in his program. Even with some pre-existing (mostly unrelated) health issues, he’s doing awesome a little over a year later, so I’m grateful he was a candidate.

  26. PB*

    So happy to read this, OP! I teared up a little. Best of luck to you and your family as you move forward.

    1. OP*

      I’m all cried out after hearing my sister was willing and able to donate, but thank you!!!

  27. Imaginary Number*

    The fact that OP and their boss are both former military honestly puts the whole situation in a different context. Makes it a whole lot less weird. There’s a culture of helping each other out, even people who you don’t know very well.

  28. MicroManagered*

    Such a wonderful update, OP! I hope everything works out with your sister.

    The additional context you provided (both being former military, working in the hospital where you receive treatment) really made this seem less bizarre than it originally came across. Your boss sounds very sweet… I had to laugh and shake my head at the offer to keep your kids while you recover after the boundary-setting conversation! It sounds like his heart is in the right place.

    1. OP*

      Actually, letting him watch my kids may nip his offers in the bud ha! They’re pretty energetic

  29. alison*

    Honestly, that you work in a military hospital makes a lot of this make so much more sense. The boundaries thing is so very true.

  30. TheWanderingRabbit*

    Such great news! My partner had a living donor kidney transplant in 2015, and his adopted sister was his donor. My partner was adopted from Korea as an infant, and his sister from Guatemala. It’s amazing how people from different backgrounds can be such a gift to each other. If you ever want to talk further let me know! Best of luck to you, I’ll be thinking of you guys as you move forward in the process.

      1. SoCalHR*

        There is some great beauty in your adopted sister being your match. I wish you all the best!

  31. Bea*

    I’m relieved that your sister is a match and your boss is happily accepting that he can step back a bit. Thank you for the update. I’m sorry for the insensitivity you encountered.

  32. Alex the Alchemist*

    Congrats on finding a match! And I’m glad your boss is just enthusiastic, even if it’s a bit overwhelming at times. The kidney party sounded amazing.

  33. Self employed*

    Congrats, OP. I’m also glad you’re calling out ppl who are making jerky comments.

    1. Cochrane*

      I must admit that I had similar thoughts upon reading the original letter. Growing up, I’ve always heard that the need for organs was desperate and pleas for people to join the organ donor registry if they can do so. It sounded weird to my ear to pass up something lifesaving because of the weirdness factor involved. Is there a fundamental supply difference in living/deceased organ donation?

      That said, I’m glad to hear that OP is on the way to good health and hope that it all works out for the best.

      1. bonkerballs*

        But even if it were a much more dire situation than what seems to be the case, it’s still for OP to decide what she will accept. And there’s no need for anyone, especially not strangers on a comment board, to rudely suggest otherwise.

  34. PhyllisB*

    So glad everything is going so well and hope it continues to. I didn’t read the original post (will after I post this) but just wanted to say, even though I understand not wanting to accept a kidney from your boss, I think it’s a wonderfully kind thing for him to offer that, and to offer to keep your children. Wish everyone had such good bosses. Please keep us updated.

    This is very timely because I have a friend who has a kidney tumor and may need a new kidney at some point. I was going to write in here and ask if there was an age cut-off on donations. I’m 67 so I was afraid I would be too old. Glad to know if things get to that point and I can do this.

    1. OP*

      My doctor said he once transplanted the kidney of a 76 year old grandpa into his 11 year old grandson! I know things can vary, but he didn’t seem concerned by donor age- just by donor health :) Best wishes for your friend!

  35. Goya de la Mancha*

    damn onion cutting ninjas…..*sniff*

    So happy for some good news on this. A lot of the info in this letter helps illuminate what us readers could only speculate on before (visits during dialysis, a little easier to “understand” when it’s only 1 floor up!)

  36. Starbucks Girl*

    Your boss’s actions make SO MUCH more sense now with the military connection. I am not in the military but have friends and family who are, and the sense of camaraderie is truly amazing. I can see they would do anything for each other, and those in a position of leadership feel extra responsibility to do what is right by their team. Thank you for your service by the way- I have tons of respect for anyone who dedicates their life to serving the country and keeping us safe.

    Best of luck to you, I hope everything works out and that you and your sister have speedy recoveries!

  37. Emily S.*

    OP, thank you so much for sharing this update. It’s wonderful to hear such great news.

    Wishing you better health in the future!

  38. anon24*

    I’m so happy for you OP! I hope everything continues to go well and that you and your sister have a complication free recovery!

    Please keep us updated!

  39. Granny K*

    Reading your first post made me concerned that your boss had some (serious) boundary issues. Thank you for following up and mentioning that you were both in the service. Although I’ve never been in service, I have seen the bonds between those who have and it’s very different from those from a shared country, religion, etc.

    In any case, I’m glad this is working out for you. Not sure exactly where you are but I’ll be sending positive thoughts out in your (and your sister’s) general direction.

  40. This is my third username*

    This update makes my heart so happy! I love it when good things happen to good people and humans are kind. Also, the hospital and military mentions change everything. That makes sense that the boundaries are a little different. Good luck OP. You’re in my thoughts. Sending positive vibes your way.

  41. Ann Nonymous*

    You might want to look into the Renal Support Network for advice and support. I used to work for them (I’m not a kidney patient) and there is a lot of good stuff at their website. Everything is free for patients and it’s not a scam or phishing operation or anything shady like that. https://www.rsnhope.org/

  42. Silicon Valley Girl*

    The updates — esp. the positive ones like this! — are the best thing about AAM. Thanks :)

  43. Stinky Socks*

    “I think my boss is used to doing whatever it takes to help his troops, and just hasn’t quite lost that sense of sacrifice.” Would that we all had bosses like that…

  44. The Bill Murray Disagreement*

    Alison –

    More and more frequently, commentators on this site are being rude and unhelpful, perhaps not to the level described by the OP here (which is horrific) but enough that routinely you (Alison) and others have to note that it is not OK to speculate on mental illnesses of people described in letters, and to push back on derailing comments and threads.

    Maybe it is time to invest in moderating this comments section.

    1. Just the truth*

      :D Yeah, that SHOULD happen but won’t. I think Alison values views too much for that. Of course, she’s welcome to prove that she cares about her commenters being decent to the LWs by getting a moderator. If she doesn’t, I guess she’s prove something else…

      And if this seems hostile, it’s been brewing for several months. Commenters are getting so terrible that at this point they’re worse than on YouTube.

      1. Just the truth*

        She’s proving…and why can’t we edit comments? Also, the malware thing? Still happening.

        1. Nox*

          Yeah to JTT’s point this site does a number to my mobile devices with the popups and autoplaying ads . I wonder if implementing a upvote/downvote system would help reduce negative noise in the commenting base.

          I don’t think its about thin skin, I think it’s about looking for content creators to hold their commenting bases to a higher standard where it’s always constructive discussion because it’s too easy to just say oh well that’s just how comment sections work. There’s sites out there who make you answer questions about what you just read before you can comment.

      2. Klaxons*

        Alison has a full time job that isn’t sitting around personally vetting thousands of comments a day. I’ve seen her plenty of times come through the comment section and weed out unacceptable comments. I think the suggestion that anything less than absolute perfection is proof that she’s lazy and uncaring is nasty and disingenuous. It’s important to keep in mind that she’s also providing a free service. One that you choose to take advantage of.

        OP, I’m really glad things are turning out all right for you.

      3. Ask a Manager* Post author

        What a strange comment. Have you ever read the comments on YouTube? It’s night and day.

        But when you have a big comment section, you’re going to have a wide range of personalities and opinions. Some people are going to be rude or insensitive. If you’re not up for that and prefer a heavily curated experience, you shouldn’t read the comments anywhere, other than on sites that heavily moderate.

        As I’ve said previously, it doesn’t make sense for me to invest the time and money that it would take to hire, train, and manage moderators, because the comment section accounts for a very small share of total site usage. The vast majority of readers don’t read the comments at all. As with most sites, the comment section is a bonus, not the main point of the site.

        1. The Bill Murray Disagreement*

          Yeah, I completely disagree that this site is *anything* like YouTube when it comes to commenting, but that is also an exceptionally low bar to clear.

          And while I do understand that you have to make trade-offs when managing a large site, and believe you when you say the majority of readers on the site do not visit the comments section, it seems like there could be some sort of middle ground (volunteer moderators?) to nudge things toward a more curated experience that does not leave the burden solely on you but also allows letter writers and others to feel like they will not be subjected to rude or cruel comments speculating on their mental illnesses, the truthfulness of their situations, or any of the other myriad things that seem to be occurring much more frequently these days.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            Right now it’s not possible — I’m really overextended and looking for ways to cut back on what I’m doing, rather than taking on more (and finding, training, and overseeing moderators would definitely count as a whole new project). It’s possible that it could be something that could make sense in the future, but right now I can’t justify it.

            I’m also … more or less fine with the comment section as it is. Lots of people like it, some people don’t, and that seems about what you can expect from most comment sections. That’s not to say I don’t see problems with it — I do, and it frustrates the hell out of me sometimes — but it’s a comment section. It’s going to be messy, and I’m okay with that. It doesn’t make sense for it to be a major priority for me right now, relative to other projects (and relative to overall site usage). I think I may have set people up to expect a more moderated experience here, because when the comment section was smaller (and when I was less busy), I did moderate more — quite a bit more! But as it’s grown, my model for it has changed. And I’m okay with it being a bit messier. (To a point, at a least.)

      4. bohtie*

        This comment is manipulative, rude, and completely unnecessary. To be honest, if you’re that concerned about inappropriate comments, you really need to look at your own behavior first.

  45. Froggy*

    Ah! I love your update! My husband was a kidney recipient; once from a living donor, and the 2nd from a deceased donor. I appreciate your boss’s desire to donate to you, and it is also encouraging that your sister seems to be a great match. I wish you all the best, good health with treatments, and much success on your transplant journey. Prayers being sent!

  46. Kidney Doc*

    I’m so glad to hear this. Good luck getting healthy. And everyone, PLEASE make yourself an organ donor no matter how old you are. You don’t need your organs in heaven…

  47. Nana*

    Wonderful to have this update…and looking forward to another after you (and your sister) have recuperated. The Dutch have the right attitude: everyone is an organ donor, unless they opt out. In CA, you can indicate your willingness and get a bright pink dot on your driver’s license (both because so many die in auto accidents, and because you usually know where your DL is)…couldn’t be easier.

  48. Vancouver Reader*

    Thank you for this heart warming update. I’m so happy you found a match, and it being your sister is icing the cake.

    Your boss sounds like wonderful person.

  49. Teka*

    Am so happy to hear a positive update on this one. Good luck to the OP! An adopted sister (possibly) turning out to be a donor sounds like one of those things that can only happen in fiction. But sometimes reality can be stranger than fiction…

  50. Radical Edward*

    What a wonderful update! All the best to you, OP, and it’s so great to hear that everyone around you has your back. :)

  51. I forget*

    I’m sorry, OP, that you found some of the commenters here to be cruel or insensitive. I’ve noted a bit of that, too, and it’s a real turnoff.

    Please send us an update once you’ve recovered.

  52. nep*

    Wow, OP–Thank you for such a wonderful update.
    All the best to you and your family.

  53. K. Tate*

    Kidney donor here. I am also adopted and was a match for my second dad (dad that adopted me died when I was two).
    I’m only commenting to say please advise your sister to THOROUGHLY research after care. There was nothing short of a 10 minute video that prepped me for donation. The only send off I received was, “ don’t eat bananas and always keep a bottle of water with you”. Granted the hospital that performed our surgeries was AWFUL. No matter all of that though, I would do it again and again for him. I only wish I had better research made available to me and maybe I could have joined a donor support group before the process started. Searching the internet for this type of thing (in 2009) was hit and miss.

    1. Youngin*

      WHAT??? I donated to my father as well and that’s insane (I donated pretty recently though in comparison). I was so informed about every aspect of the surgery and after care that I was over it by the time the surgery happened. I remember telling my dad I felt too informed because it was all I could think about, but my team and the hospital was amazing. Although I didnt hear anything about bananas, so maybe I am missing something lol

      Regardless Im glad your surgery went well!

      1. K Tate*

        I am SO happy you had a positive experience! I think my dad selected a hospital (his relative reccommended) because he felt he would have a better place on the list. We tried telling him that was not how it worked and to please select one closer to home and better. Nope. He wanted this one. I looked them up and they are NOTORIOUS online. This sounds like an exaggeration but I’m happy to be alive. We both are. Both had horrible staph infections and that was only the beginning. :(

  54. Elizabeth West*

    I’m glad you found a match, OP, and that you have such a kind and caring boss (and that he’s not a weirdo). Good luck with everything! <3

  55. LDSang*

    Best wishes to you and your family as you progress through this. Blessings to your sister for her willingness to donate, and kind thoughts to your boss for his altruism.

  56. Christina*

    So happy for you! My sister donated a kidney to a family friend 2 years ago. It was extremely successful and both patients are happy and healthy.
    Note that telling anyone a tale of organ donation incites discussions around what someone would or would not do…and would they do it for a stranger as opposed to a friend/family member. Bottom line…unless you are in the situation you don’t know what you would do. It’s not a gesture without emotions.
    Be glad this is even an option. You never know when you may need it.
    And for those naysayers, keep it to yourself.

    1. Youngin*

      I donated a few years ago to my dad and its bananas what some people would say to me, like really insensitive. I had never had any doubts about the surgery til people got in my ear. Thankfully my transplant team/Hospital was the best in America at that time and they really made me feel comfortable. I went in confident (for the most part) thanks to them.

  57. Stella Maris*

    Very best wishes to you and your sister (and all of your family members) as you move forward, OP!

  58. Hooptie*

    My dad passed away at 72 due to a freak accident, and they were able to harvest several of his organs plus tendons and ligaments. He was healthy as a horse and still driving semi truck 3,000 miles a week. Yes, you can be an organ (and more donor) even as a senior! :)

  59. Youngin*

    Yay OP!

    I was a donor that seconded Kidney Doctors advice and I am so happy for you, I really hope the process goes quickly and easily. Also, whoever told you that your sister could die is completely out of line. A donation is scary, and serious, but kidney surgeons do this 100 times a day and your sister is young (I was a couple years older when I donated) and I have no doubt she will bounce back quickly. I had a hundred people trying to talk me out of it (Idk why that’s a thing) and I am thankful everyday I chose to go through with it.

    Praying for a successful transplant and everlasting health for you and your sister (or eventual donor).

    1. Jennifer Thneed*

      > whoever told you that your sister could die is completely out of line

      Agree, but they weren’t wrong. Surgeries are major invasive procedures and shit happens. Bodies are complicated and doctors still get surprises.

      I would never talk a person out of donating something, but I also would never say that there’s no danger to the donor at all. That’s just not possible.

  60. NonprofitUS*

    Best wishes, OP! My husband donated a kidney to his brother several years ago, and they are both doing really well. I hope your experience is just as smooth.

  61. K Tate*

    I am SO happy you had a positive experience! I think my dad selected a hospital (his relative reccommended) because he felt he would have a better place on the list. We tried telling him that was not how it worked and to please select one closer to home and better. Nope. He wanted this one. I looked them up and they are NOTORIOUS online. This sounds like an exaggeration but I’m happy to be alive. We both are. Both had horrible staph infections and that was only the beginning. :(

  62. Amber Duncan*

    To the OP, I’m really sorry some people weren’t as kind as they probably could have been the last time. Truth is, many healthy people don’t understand what it’s like to be faced with difficult health issues or long-term, repeated doctors’ visits. Ever since I married a man with lifelong issues of his own, I’ve realized that those people are usually afraid of situations like yours, and it colours how they treat people with long-term illnesses.

    Best of luck to you AND your sister (I know her contribution isn’t easy either) with your upcoming doctors’ treatments and recoveries. And congratulations on having such a great boss!

  63. Jilly*

    The OP is a federal employee. Most of the federal agencies I am familiar with have leave donation as a policy. I am a federal contractor but I work within an agency so I get the daily digest of internal emails. Lots of times there will be one on leave donation. It’s a general blast out to the entire federal agency that X is in need of leave donations (and at the federal level it’s separate buckets of sick and vacation/personal). So while I’m not familiar with the ins and outs of DoD, it is unlikely that the boss created a leave donation policy – he just made sure that an existing policy was made available to the OP.

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