A match in more ways than one
When Callie Eide was a little girl, she used to read her mother’s Reader’s Digest. There was a popular health series, starting with “I am Joe’s Heart,” which, spoken in the body part’s voice, detailed parts of Joe and Jane from 1967 to 1990. Callie read about kidney transplantation, and found out early on that people can donate one kidney to someone, and that you can live with just one remaining kidney. At that point, she was certain that one day, she would give one of her kidneys to someone who needed one.
Callie has had careers in law, politics, radio, spiritual philosophy, and glassblowing and has been involved with Natural Health Care for 40 years. She acted as an advocate and lobbyist for chiropractic, natural health, personal injury, and worker’s compensation for several decades. She has been a Life Coach since 1998 and is a Natural Healing Practitioner. Callie works with her husband Dave, a Traditional Naturopath at their clinic in Eden Prairie, The Natural Path. They have been married for 12 years, and they each have a kidney that once belonged to Callie.
Callie (then last name Edwards) had a friend and colleague named Dave for many years. He was even her Naturopathic practitioner. Callie was a medical liaison for a law firm and went to Dave for opinions and advice. As life happens, over the years they lost touch for a while. Catching up over brunch one day in 2009, Dave told Callie that he was in renal failure and was on dialysis. Not skipping a beat, Callie offered him the waiting kidney.
Going through the testing process at HCMC it was determined they were an outstanding match. They began dating during this time, ultimately had the successful transplant (with absolutely no side effects for Callie except for a little tiredness), got married in a ceremony celebrating how they “shared more than their hearts” and honeymooned in the Bahamas!
Callie has also been a strong advocate for HCMC since her law office practice represented a severely head-injured young girl in the 1980s. Her mother held various positions at The General in the 1960s and 70s. She is an especially great advocate for the Hennepin Healthcare Transplant Program, where the living donor transplant occurred. “The thing that sets the transplant program here apart is the communication of the team and the longevity of their transplant expertise,” said Callie.
During COVID, many people, particularly immunocompromised (your immune system’s defenses are low which affects its ability to fight off infections and diseases) people couldn’t get answers from doctors all over the nation. Callie and Dave heard many frustrated stories from clients. She adds, “Hennepin was right there – always responsive, caring for patients whether it was managing medications or answering tough questions. Nationally hospitals and clinics were tested, and Hennepin got an A.”
Both Callie and Dave attended the event last February celebrating 60 years of transplant at HCMC. Given the opportunity to write a message to the transplant team, Dave and Callie wrote:
“Thank you to the Team at Hennepin Healthcare Transplant for manifesting the miracle that has given us both 13 years!
13 years of falling in love with my recipient; 12 years of marriage to my donor; 13 years Jill and Jack have had with their Dad, a father present and healthy through both their late teens and throughout their 20s.
Professionally, in the last 13 years, we have seen and helped over 15,000 people in our naturopathic health practice.
All this happened because for 13 years we have worked with the most responsive and caring healthcare team in the country.
We love you all as a family.
Dave and Callie Eide”
(Photo is Dave with his children, Jill and Jack)
As we celebrate Donate Life Month this April, remember to register as an organ, tissue, and eye donor. Registration is easy – register online, when you are applying for your hunting or fishing license, or on Apple’s Health app. In Callie’s case, she became a kidney living donor. Many gracious people do that to save someone they love or someone they never met. Hennepin Healthcare’s Kidney Transplant Program has performed almost 1,200 living donor transplants since 1998.