Hope to Life
By Freya Peterson
My Chinese grandma, my mom, and I were walking on the beach somewhere in China. I was laughing when I heard “Boom, bust, boom!” I felt like I was the only one hearing this because my mom and grandma seemed not to notice.
“Come Freya, come.” They waved at me. I ran to them but all of a sudden, a voice said, “Wake up, wake up!”
I opened my eyes and saw my dad, “Get dressed, eat breakfast, you’ll be late!” Oh…the beach, my Chinese grandma, it was all just a dream. I’m still in America.
I have been in America for four years now, but I frequently dream of China where I was born. Wait, I forgot to introduce my family. My dad is an American and my mom is Chinese, but my dad used to work in China.
My life was happy until something horrible happened in 2015. That year I was four. The two people I love got really sick. My Chinese grandma got cancer and my dad was told he had kidney failure.
One day, my dad told me, “Freya, I have to go back to America to get dialysis but your mom needs to take care of grandma. So, you’ll have to stay in China with mom.” He looked sad and worried. My mom cried too. What’s happening? Why could I only see daddy on iPad? I was very upset. We separated for about a half year, dad was in America and mom and I were in China. I surely missed dad a lot.
In 2017, my Chinese grandma passed away. My mom was in deep sorrow, but she had to take me back to America right after the funeral. Life was so different here and I was curious about everything. I felt unique because I was proud of my own language, but my American grandparents didn’t understand anything I said.
My mom thought it would be easy to get a kidney from the family, but we had no luck. Dad had to go on a donor’s list. At the time, we had nothing except an empty apartment. We had no money, no furniture, no car and no toys. I missed all the toys I left in China.
After three years of dialysis, one day my dad got a call from the hospital. The doctor told him it was his turn to get a new kidney. HOORAY! What unbelievable news! My whole family was very excited. We went to the hospital in The Cities. On the way in the car, my mom was busy calling others. Everyone’s face looked like Christmas morning. It took dad about eight hours to get a kidney transplant. My mom and I stayed up all night, but we didn’t feel tired.
Life has changed a lot since my dad got a new kidney from a waiting list. Now, he doesn’t need to go on dialysis anymore. I can see a smile on his face. He spends more time having fun with us. My mom and I used to be worried that we may lose him some day, but now we see hope is back.
Sometimes, I think what my life would be like if my dad was never sick. I would still be in China. I wouldn’t know anyone I have met here in America. I wouldn’t speak English every day. And of course, I wouldn’t have this opportunity to write this story and share it with others.
I feel thankful for all the people who give donations. Without them, my dad wouldn’t be alive. Since we moved to America, we have got a lot of help from our family, friends and the community. Without donors, we would not have a new beginning, a new life.
My old dream was to become a pet store owner when I grow up because I love animals. I changed my mind and want to be a good doctor in the future. I want to save people’s lives and give help to those who are in need. Our society needs more care, more love and more kindness of heart.