I’ve always believed that we carry our emotions around in our bodies. My brother-in-law told me as much when he was getting a degree in Chinese Medicine. Once, he touched a point on my shoulder and I started crying for no apparent reason. Fact was there was a reason, I just wasn’t in touch with the sadness locked in my skin.

You can apply this line of thinking to your entire body. It’s not mystical or esoteric. It’s science. If you are happy or content, stressed-out or depressed, then so are your parts. Safe to say these emotions course through your hands and feet, stomach, heart, and even your kidneys. If somehow you could swap legs with someone, you’d have an energetic sense of the sort of person they were once attached to. It’s not like you could run faster or anything (though that would be cool), but you might wonder what it is about this new leg that makes you feel a certain way.

I bring this up because on Thursday morning at 7:30am EST, my brother Mike is donating one of his two fully-functioning kidneys to an anonymous recipient. Mike’s gotten a lot of flack along the way but stands behind the same answer when asked, “Why?” His response, “Because I can.” Need more of an answer than that? Well, that’s your problem.

Mike has done a fine job keeping our family in the loop, assuring us all that the surgery is routine and the recovery for a healthy guy like him will be quick. He also doesn’t feel the need to know who is receiving his kidney. The more I think about this gesture and Mike’s  attitude, the more amazed I am by his courage and selflessness. My brother doesn’t require a thank you. Doesn’t even care if the recipient ever learns his name. Simply knowing that the patient will function as a normal human being within 24 hours of receiving his organ is enough for him to happily walk away with a new scar.

Which brings me back to the emotions in the body. My brother Mike is a good man. And I mean this in the simplest and most profound way. Mike’s heart beats for his family and friends, and his zest for life can be felt by merely standing near him. On Friday morning one of Mike’s kidneys will be filtering someone else’s blood. In doing so, it’ll prolong their life and immediately delete their need to suffer through future dialyses. Talk about a lifestyle change. But besides this, they’ll also get a small, yet powerful piece of my brother – a giant dose of good energy and love. A piece that he is happy to share because that’s the sort of guy he is. And no matter who they are, their entire body will be that much better because of it. In ways that transcend the functioning of their new, healthy kidney.

Scan 31

Scan 32

Scan 33




  1. Mary Bth Abordo

    Mike is committing an act of Loving Kindness. He, as an enlightened one, has my deepest respect.

  2. That’s one of the most selfless things I’ve ever heard of someone doing.

  3. Just re-read this and your words are awesome (as always). Thanks Tom!

Leave a Reply