What do you give to the woman of your dreams on your 11th wedding anniversary? Phillip Horn, a Vice President with the Sacramento Kings basketball team, says it was a no-brainer – he’s giving his wife, Danea, a kidney.
This is no ordinary couple. They are both powerhouses. Danea’s new book Chronic Resilience was released, August 1 – the same day she learned she was in kidney failure. That grave diagnosis from the doctors didn’t stop her from moving full speed ahead with her arduous West coast book tour, before agreeing to a transplant date of October 1. The surgery falls just two weeks before both the Kings pre-season opener and the couple’s 11th wedding anniversary.
“Traditionally the 11th year anniversary symbol is steel, which symbolizes the strength of marriage,” says Danea. “This generous and unconditional gift from Phillip – at one of the busiest times in his career – creates an emotional bond stronger than anything, including steel, ever could. It’s an amazing thing to do together and I love that we’re a match in so many ways.”
Phillip continues, “I feel so lucky to be a match. It was against the odds. Usually we go to a nice place the first or second week of October to celebrate our anniversary– this time it will be from a hospital bed, yet it will likely be the most memorable place of them all. People are always looking for that gift that money can’t buy and this is definitely one.”
Danea continues to find remaining energy with her lone-Kidney and plans on keeping her scheduled appearance as moderator and featured author at the upcoming Capitol Region Women’s Conference, featuring Lisa Oz, on September 27th, at the Sacramento Convention Center, just 5 days before the transplant. Phillip, living Danea’s Chapter 3 message of setting attainable, inspiring goals while healing, has his sights set on recovering quickly to be in the building when the Kings take the court for the first time in this season of exciting change for the franchise.
Danea has fought VACTERL association – a disorder that affects many body systems, including the kidneys – since birth. By the time she was two years old, Danea had survived 10 reconstructive surgeries. It has not been an easy journey.
“I titled my book ‘Chronic Resilience’ because I realized that to be the essence of gracefully coping with illness,” says Danea. “Spiritual growth is a ‘side effect’ of chronic illness. Illness is your license to be as deliberate and thoughtful with your time as you want to. Live as you would live at the end of your life right now, today. That is a gift.”
Phillip echoes his wife’s thoughts, “Danea and I have similar philosophies – life is meant to be lived. I don’t want to sit and watch it pass me by. I embrace challenging experiences. When I look back on my life, I know I’m going to be most excited about how resilient I was in overcoming life’s obstacles, versus backing down. Life is meant to grow from, and the more challenges we can take on the more we are going to grow.”
Phillip’s gift of life continues into the Kings’ season. On February 19, in the Kings’ home matchup against the Golden State Warriors, he is spearheading a “Kings Donate Life Night,” in order to help raise awareness of the critical need for organ and tissue donors. Fans will be encouraged to sign up to give life through the DMV when getting a license, or online at: www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org.
About Sierra Donor Services
Sierra Donor Services (SDS) is a nonprofit agency dedicated to meeting the needs of the community by providing families the option of organ and tissue donation for transplantation and research. SDS serves Inland Northern California and Northern Nevada. As a division of the DCI Donor Services, Inc. family, SDS is one of four locations that includes: DCI Donor Services Tissue Bank, Tennessee Donor Services and New Mexico Donor Services. For more information, visit: sierradonor.org.