For many years Local 12’s Troubleshooter Howard Ain was the problem solver for thousands – those he assisted first hand and many more who benefited from his advocacy through watching his television segments.
And, as it goes in life, you never know when your role will change from the giver to the recipient. You may have heard by now that Howard was battling a chronic kidney disease, and like millions of others across the United States, he was in need of a kidney transplant. (A close friend of mine is among those millions too, and also received a kidney transnplant.) It was only the end of June when his story became widespread news via his longtime employer and just like that, those people who benefited from his work wanted to help.
Many were tested to see if they were a match. Ultimately, his living donor was a producer whose Local 12 newscasts shared his stories for all those years. I’ve known Anita Bray Farrell for a while through social media. I’ve seen her big heart toward animals. Now her generosity has saved a human life, the life of a respected and dear colleague – and friend.
In a news story on Local 12, I saw this conversation:
“Hard to believe that I could get my life back,” said Howard.
“The more I thought about it, he’s helped a lot of people, for decades, literally I think he’s saved some people from financial ruin, and I wanted to pay it back a little bit,” said Anita.
“My biggest fear is that there would be a complication for Howard, not for me,” said Anita.
“I’ve known Anita for years, she is a woman of uncommon grace,” said Howard.
Howard has a little bit of that fear, too, but what do you say to a person that saves your life? (from Liz Bonis)
“You know what she said to me? Because you know, the producers are always saying ‘can I give it a little bit more time, a little more time, my story is going to run a little long’ while she said it’s the first time a producer has ever given a reporter more time, okay I’ll give you more time and it’s not minutes, it’s years,” said Howard.
There is a lesson in here for all of us.
When I spoke with Anita, this is what she told me, “If you are healthy, I would definitely encourage people to do it. It is some time off work, some pain, the testing process is involved but something to consider. Is well worth it to save a life and give something back.”
To learn more about being a kidney donor, please visit this link for the National Kidney Foundation.