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Stewy's gift is pretty remarkablePosted Sunday, July 26, 2009, at 9:19 AM
It's not often that people decide to do something remarkable that makes you sit back and simply say, "Wow, I am impressed".
Well, that was my immediate reaction after talking with Jonathan "Stewy" Stewart this week about his plans to donate his left kidney to a young, 30-year-old woman that he had never met.
Stewy, as he's affectionately known by his family and friends, is just 22.
But I can tell you this young guy has a heart of gold and his thought process is way beyond his physical age.
How many of you would donate a healthy functioning kidney to a complete stranger for no other real reason than to honor and remember two loved ones who have passed away?
That's what Stewy is about to do.
The former Bloomfield resident, who now lives in Bloomington, relayed to me that he's donating the important organ of life in honor of a recently deceased uncle Joseph Anthony Hajdinak, of rural Solsberry, who died Nov. 28, 2008 and also another "dear friend" from Bloomfield, who recently passed away.
Both men died of complications associated with diabetes.
Stewy said he didn't want to identify the friend out of respect for his family -- whom he had not cleared permission with to talk about the case in the media.
The former Bloomfield High School student (class of 2005), who now attends Indiana University, said he had original plans to donate a kidney to his uncle -- whom he called his "absolute best friend of all times".
Stewy added, "I would have done anything for him."
But he died just weeks before the original transplant could be carried out.
After his uncle's s death, Stewy was very upset, nearly devastated -- blaming himself for is uncle's passing -- and removed his name from the donor list.
But he revealed to me that he was left with a void and didn't feel completely whole.
"I wanted to do something so much for somebody in order to give them a second chance," he said.
Now as you know, donating organs for most of us is something we do after we die. I've designated myself as an organ donor -- providing anyone would want any of my harvestable body parts after I pass on.
Nonetheless, Stewy made the decision to help someone now.
That's pretty deep thinking for a young man still in college and planning for his own future.
But you know, it says something very commendable about the man, his family, his ideals, his beliefs, his spiritual walk.
" This is my way of remembering two very strong souls who did everything they could to live for their families, but unfortunately God had different plans for them," he explained to me.
Any of you familiar with Bloomfield, it's high school, drama or musical productions and sporting events will remember Stewy.
He was a singer in the choral groups Joyful Noise, Cardinal Song and Center Stage. He appeared in Strut N Fret productions and even served as the Cardinal mascot at basketball games.
He was always an entertainer and loves to make people laugh.
Stewart, the son of Dave and Anne Stewart of Bloomfield, is now studying tourism management and minoring in musical theatre. He'll finish his degree in about three semesters.
For the last two summers, he's been a part of the cast at Shawnee Summer Theatre in Bloomfield -- appearing in Godspell in 2008 and The Wedding Singer this summer.
Then through a series of remarkable, lucky and blessed circumstances Stewy was matched up with a young married woman who is the mother of a two-year-old daughter.
This weekend will be a special one for Stewy and the family of the donor -- Kristine Marcoux.
This Saturday, the two will meet for the first time when he travels to her northern Indiana home to introduce himself to her entire family.
The woman, according to Stewart, has been in kidney failure since her daughter's birth two years ago.
Can you image the joy and elation both of them will experience at this very special 'family reunion'?
The big transplant operation is set for May 31 at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis.
Our prayers and thoughts are with Stewy and his organ recipient.
What he is doing is pretty awesome stuff. Brave and generous are two words that quickly come to mind.
But really all I can say is "Wow, I am impressed."
To read the entire story about Stewy's kidney donation go to the following link on the newspaper's website : http://gcdailyworld.com/story/1556579.ht....
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/wordmaster1953.
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