Grateful Recipient Pays it Forward

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Rev. Lauren A. Hickman, Recipient

Grateful Recipient Pays it Forward

Posted August 18, 2014


hickman-315-x-200“Receiving a new kidney has meant that I no longer have to travel to a dialysis center three times a week, every week, for six to eight hours of treatment each time. I am so grateful to the family who made the decision to donate their loved one’s organs, because I now have more time to devote to my family as well as my ministry work,” said Rev. Lauren Andrew Hickman who received a kidney transplant on May 14, 2013 after 11.5 years of dialysis.

Rev. Hickman was on a mission trip in the Appalachian Mountains in 2002 when he fell ill and was rushed to the hospital.He was diagnosed with end stage renal failure. Although he was diagnosed with hypertension at age 13, he was not prescribed medication until he was in his 20s. “The kidney failure was a result of me not taking my high blood pressure medication,” Rev. Hickman said. “I was young, foolish, and didn’t take it seriously enough.”

For more than a decade, Rev. Hickman survived with consistent dialysis and a supportive church family while patiently waiting for a kidney transplant. The time involved in dialysis was his biggest challenge. At first, his treatments were in the morning during the workday. The supportive staff at West Side Missionary Baptist Church allowed Rev. Hickman to come in late on treatment days and work longer hours on non-treatment days. “I was fortunate because I was working for the church at the time, and they were extremely kind to me. I was able to endure the challenges of being a dialysis patient mainly because of my faith in Jesus Christ and the love, support and never-ending encouragement of my family, friends and my church family.”

hickman2-315-x-200Rev. Hickman is a member of the support staff at the West Side Missionary Baptist Church and serves as an administrative assistant to the Senior Pastor. He also serves as an Associate Minister and Sunday Morning Bible Study Teacher. Because of the kidney transplant, he is able to work full time and participate more actively with two additional organizations that he loves: The Saint Louis Gospel Choral Union and the Legend Singers Choral Ensemble. “I have a great love for music and these two groups allow me the opportunity to continue to foster that love.”

“I am so grateful to the family who made the decision to donate their loved one’s organs, because I now have more time to devote to my family as well as my ministry work.” 

“I also plan to become a volunteer with Mid-America Transplant Services. The support provided by MTS during my pre-transplant days was phenomenal. They offered resources that gave me courage to make it through some challenging times, and because of that, I know it is the right thing to give back some of my time to encourage and support someone who finds themselves in a place where I once was.”

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