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Liza, the only daughter of the narrator, expresses the desire to donate her kidney to her mother, who has had two kidney transplants due to an autoimmune kidney disease. The narrator’s maternal instincts clash with her daughter’s offer of protection, as she is used to being the one to protect her child. Memories of Liza’s premature birth flood the narrator’s mind, along with feelings of fear and uncertainty about accepting her daughter’s kidney donation.

After deciding not to make a decision yet, Liza sets up an initial phone interview with the Mayo Clinic Transplant Center to see if she is a match. The narrator and Liza infuse humor and light-heartedness into the serious situation, giving them hope for whatever the outcome may be. As they navigate the testing process, the narrator struggles with her conflicting emotions as a mother and as someone in need of a kidney.

The testing process at the Mayo Clinic is emotional for both the narrator and Liza, as they wait to see if she is a match to donate her kidney. Despite a few setbacks, they remain optimistic and take things one step at a time. The narrator reflects on the shared history and mutual protection between herself and Liza, realizing that looking after each other has become a two-way street.

Months after the initial testing, Liza excitedly shares that she has been approved to donate her kidney to her mother. The joy and relief in the narrator’s voice are palpable as they realize they are a direct match. The prospect of the upcoming surgeries brings anxiety and uncertainty, but the strong bond between mother and daughter offers solace in the face of the unknown.

The narrator acknowledges the ongoing monitoring of her health and the inevitability of needing another kidney transplant in the future. Despite the challenges ahead, she finds comfort in the shared experience and mutual protection between herself and Liza. Love and gratitude intermingle with fear and uncertainty as they navigate the complexities of accepting a life-saving gift from a loved one.

In the end, the narrator finds solace in knowing that accepting her daughter’s kidney donation is a way to protect both of them and ensure their future together. The story is a testament to the power of familial love and sacrifice, as well as the resilience and hope that can emerge from facing life’s most difficult challenges.

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