As Amber was growing up with one kidney, we were always reminded on our visits to St. Jude that we must do everything possible to protect that kidney. Even so, the doctors always reminded us that we couldn’t keep her in a bubble. They encouraged her to do all of the things that she wanted to do with just a few exceptions. They would not allow her to take karate or any martial arts and they recommended not riding any form of motorcycle. Outside of those things they gave the okay for her to participate. We were reminded that if she experienced any type of accident that might impact her kidney then we should always have it checked immediately.
Having the approval of the doctors was a great relief because there was no way that I would have been able to keep Amber away from softball. She grew up at the field watching her two cousins (the same ones that are like sisters to her) play. Dragging a bat around the field was a habit from the time she could walk. She was determined to be a softball player.
Amber played softball from the age of four until she graduated from high school. It was her one sport and she was completely dedicated to it. She wound up being a catcher for many years for her summer team and her travel team. Travel ball sometimes meant catching four to five games a day. She never backed down and always played aggressively. As a high school player she moved to the outfield playing left and center field. There were many times that Amber was involved in plays that had physical contact. As a mother, I was always aware that her kidney is very important. As a child, she knew it was but she still put all of herself into her game. Finding that balance of protection and aggressiveness was always a battle. In the end, she played the way she wanted to play and she came away with her one 100% healthy kidney. Trying to hold her down from the game she loved would have done much more emotional damage to her than the risk to her kidney. That was something that her mom had to learn. Thank goodness I did learn quickly!
Amber as a senior sliding into home. She was safe.
See that white fence? Amber had just taken out a portion of that fence going after a fly ball. She took quite the tumble! Mom mode clicked in on me! This is one of the coaches who came out to check on her. See that smile? She loved the game, tumbles and all!