The Kidney Donor’s Journey: 100 Questions I Asked Before Donating My Kidney

Donating organs is something that most people probably don’t think about much. You may mark on your driver’s license that you want to be a an organ donor, but very few of us think about donating an organ while still alive.  Ari Sytner was one person who did think about donating a kidney and donated his to a single mother of 3 kids. In order to enlighten others to the process of kidney donation he wrote The Kidney Donor’s Journey: 100 Questions I Asked Before Donating My Kidney.

Donating a kidney is not an easy decision to make and there is a lot to consider if you plan to do so.  The Kidney Donor’s Journey has all the answers to your questions if you wanted to donate a kidney. I never thought of the idea of donating an organ while still living and I wondered why the author did. With my limited knowledge on kidney donation I just thought it was a risky procedure to have done when you have a family depending on you. That being said Ari gets into all the reasons he wanted to donate a kidney. For Ari he saw a need and wanted to help. When he was done, he wrote this book as a guide for others who want to give to people who were suffering.

Ari did not make the decision to donate a kidney lightly, from the time he thought about it until he did it was a long process. In this book he breaks down the process and takes you on his journey step by step. The Kidney Donor’s Journey is presented in a question and answer format and gives you all the details of what he went through. He gets into why to donate, what led him to do it, what to expect when you are being considered as a donor and what you have to go through in the aftermath. It was not an easy decision or an easy process but Ari felt that all life had value and he wanted to help someone. In the end he was able to help a stranger get her life and dignity back.

My favorite part of this book was a quote by Ari Sytner where he states that he doesn’t see himself as a hero, he is someone who just wanted to make the world and the life of people around him better. The Kidney Donor’s Journey is the story of someone who probably has more compassion than most people and he sells you on doing the ultimate act of kindness. He even answers questions on if you would have trouble getting insurance when you’re done and talks about any regrets that you might have. This is an inspiring book and it doesn’t sugar coat anything, when you do something like this there are some good points and bad points to consider and this book lays out everything like a road map.

Giving Candy to Strangers

Giving Candy to StrangersToo many sales people are focused on the end result, the outcome—the close—and another notch on their gun! But, what if you approached “sales” from a heart-centered standpoint, with curiosity and playfulness, as though the world were your sandbox?

What if you created relationships for no other reason than to help others and make new friends? I know what you are saying, “How can it not be about results when it comes to business?”

The bottom line is important, but if you detach from this burden while you are creating relationships, you will find that the health of your bottomline will improve on its own!

Buy the book:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Book Depository   Chapters/IndigoStan Holden

Stan Holden, owner of The LooneyBin Creative Studio, has created work for many Fortune 100 companies. As a protégé, he was first published in a national magazine during the 5th grade. A graduate of California University Long Beach, his screenplay, Rebel Without A Claus, has received a “recommend” by Disney and optioned for filming. He resides in Irvine, CA, with his wife, Reneé, and their two teenagers, Sara and William.

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Book Spotlight: Right or Almost Right

Right or Almost Right (1)Right or Almost Right is based on John Haremza’s 25 years of success in network marketing. It’s John’s answer to the questions so many ask such as, “Where’s the money? Why am I not seeing the success I expected?” As John says, “I meet so many intelligent, hard-working, dedicated network marketers who are struggling. They are not seeing the results they expected, and they always as, “Why?”

John believes that the small subtleties of how the network marketing business is done make the big difference between making a little money versus making a lot of money, between success and struggling. He addresses many of the basics of doing “the business,” from prospecting to leading your organization, and points out what is “right” as compared to what is “almost right.”

John has lived every example contained in his book. “Network marketing changed my life beyond my wildest imagination,” says John. His story is amazing, from living in a trailer park to a well-known network marketing leader. And his story can help you to make your dreams come true too!

 

​Buy the book:   Amazon  Barnes & Noble   Book Depository

Author’s Bio:

John HaremzaAfter he graduated high school, John got a job as a machine operator at the potato chip plant. When he was promoted to maintenance manager he thought that this $22,000 a year job was the best job he could ever hope for. Then he was introduced to Network Marketing and his life changed forever.

John’s story is one of those American rags to riches, from adversity and obscurity to a life of dreams. Now after spending 23 years in network marketing John has earned over $12 million. He has been responsible for product sales of over $500 million. His teams have earned over $200 million in commissions and he is featured in numerous publications and has produced 100’s of sales tools to support his teams.

​Currently, a regular speaker, consultant and author, John hopes to bring his message of Right or Almost Right to the masses.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook

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Fleeing the Hijab

Fleeing the HijabFleeing The Hijab by Sima Goel is the emotional true story of two teenage girls who dreamed of something better. It was the early 1980’s and Sima at the age of thirteen was protesting The repressive government in Iran. Things would get worse in her country though as a new regime came into power and living conditions became even worse for Iranian women.

Sima had seen family die, had to leave school, was being forced to wear a hijab and realized that she wouldn’t be able to live the life she wanted if she stayed in Iran.  Rather than stay in the conditions she was in, she left the country she loved and trekked across the desert to Pakistan and hopefully freedom. The journey was not easy and once they escaped their predicament they became strangers in a strange land with no one to help them.

This story is a lot of different things, it’s a coming of age story, a story of courage and a tale of what it takes for some to earn their freedom. I was drawn to this book because I wondered how two girls could survive a trip across the desert and travel to a land where you knew nobody and couldn’t speak the language. Of course their lives in Iran would have been worse which leads me to one of the things that I really liked about this book.

Despite the repression that Sima felt in Iran she still talks lovingly about her homeland in this book. The way she describes her family, her home, the seasons in Iran and the fruit trees,  you see that she still loves her country and feels no bitterness. Reading this made me feel bad for the Syrian refugees because like Sima they are being forced from their home. I also like the description of Iran in this book. I didn’t know a lot about that area of the world so I liked hearing Sima’s tales of growing up and her adventures as part of the three musketeers(read it and you will understand). I knew nothing about the people in Iran and hearing about Sima’s childhood made me think that she wasn’t that different from American kids in a lot of ways.

Another scene I liked was when Sima as a child is playing in a park. She starts to play with another kid that she doesn’t know and the mother of the child comes over and asks Sima’s last name. When the mother hears the name Goel she is upset with Sima and takes her child away because the child is a Muslim and Sima is Jewish.  Sima is an innocent child and is crushed, she rushes home and demands that her family change their name so she doesn’t have to be embarrassed again. I loved how two young children from different religions had no problem playing together but adults who are used to living a certain way can’t accept kids from a different religion being together.

Fleeing The Hijab is about faith, family and love. Despite what looks like a hard life, Sima feels no anger and has gone on to make a better life for herself. This book is proof that someone can survive being repressed for being different and still go on to be a loving successful person and give other people hope. This book is a must read for anyone that has gone through a hard time and thought that things can’t get better.

http://www.fleeingthehijab.com/

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Guest Blog Post: Imagine

Imagine

Fleeing the HijabImagine your pride in knowing that your ancestors have lived in the same country for over 2500 years; you consider yourself part of the stones and bones of the nation. Imagine that you grow up in a comfortable environment, where your large extended family lives within walking distance; you feel safe and loved. Imagine that you are familiar with the myriad cultural nuances in your vast nation; you are proud of your country, its history, art, and growing position on the world stage.

Imagine being thirteen and finding out that your sense of security was built on a foundation of sand: you wake up one morning and everything you have known, has been swept away. Imagine yearning to read books of science that could lead you to an important profession, or wanting to listen to inspirational, classical music and admire the great masters of the past. Imagine being told that these are forbidden, as are most of the ideas of the modern world.

Imagine being told, regardless of your religion, tradition or belief, that a young girl on the brink of womanhood must wrap herself in heavy black robes or potentially face jail or assault by acid attack.

Imagine that you are two times a minority: a Jew and a woman in a male dominated society. Your wings have been clipped and you can only gaze at the far off sky. There is no future for you in the land of your forefathers.

Imagine that you are sixteen and your only option is to go into hiding. You spend weeks and months, wandering from city to city across your country, effectively homeless. Imagine you are 17 and your mother tells you, “If you have nothing to die for, you have nothing to live for. Imagine you are Sima Goel, and you give yourself into the hands of smugglers to travel across the most dangerous desert in the world.

Imagine you read Fleeing the Hijab, you learn the amazing details of a woman’s life and bow your head in gratitude as you recognize the bountiful blessing that life has offered you.

Gratitude is the best prayer.

http://www.fleeingthehijab.com/

Book Description:

A true account of Sima Goel, the Iranian teenager who crossed the most dangerous desert in the world rather than accept the restrictions of life in Iran of the early 1980s. Her quest for freedom is a thrilling, timely inspiration for people longing to create a life of meaning. It was the last straw!

The Ayatollah Khomeini had decreed that all women in Iran must wear the hijab, whether they were Muslim, Jewish, Christian, or Baha’i. Thirteen-year-old Sima had gone out into the streets of Shiraz to demonstrate for freedom under the Shah’s oppressive rule, and now that he had fled the country, this was the result: a new regime, and a much more repressive rule. The changes Khomeini’s regime forced on the population were totally incompatible with Sima’s ambitions and sense of personal freedom. Blacklisted by her school, unable to continue her studies, mourning the murders of innocent family members and friends, and forced to wear the hijab, she realized she had to leave her beloved birthplace and find a country where she could be free to follow her dreams.

Fleeing the Hijab is a vivid portrait of a dangerous journey made by two teenaged girls through the Iranian desert to Pakistan, where, as homeless refugees, they struggled desperately to find some way to escape to the West. It is a story that needs to be heard and remembered.

Buy the book:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble  Chapters/Indigo

Author’s Bio:

Dr Sima GoelIranian-born Sima Goel has always had compassion for those who suffer. Her instinctive need to speak out against oppression ultimately resulted in unwanted attention from the authorities, which led her to flee her beloved Shiraz and eventually to Montreal.

Sima Goel is a self-made woman. Her journey to freedom, recounted in her memoir, Fleeing the Hijab, A Jewish Woman’s Escape from Iran, reflects her belief that, without freedom of choice, life is worthless. She is a strong advocate for the disenfranchised and the rights of all, specifically the rights of women. With the publication of her book, Sima has fulfilled the promise she once made to herself: to speak out and share her truth that freedom is the most precious commodity of all.

Wellness chiropractor, health advocate, inspiring author and an in-demand speaker, Dr. Goel considers her most important role to be that of mother to her two teenage boys, and wife to her beloved husband.

 

Connect with the author:   Website ~  Twitter ~  Facebook

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Aegean Dream

12519549Would you be willing to leave the security of your every day life for the chance to make your dream come true? Dario and his wife Linda did just that when they decided to leave behind the financial security they had and live on a Greek island. Many of us have gone on vacation and thought how great it would be to live there. Aegean Dream by Dario Ciriello is the story of two people brave enough to turn a dream into reality.

I was hooked on this book from the start. In the beginning you hear Dario and his wife Linda talk about how wonderful it would be live in a vacation destination which is something that lots of people do.  Aegean Dream is a very detailed travel memoir that takes you from Dario and Linda planing out how they can make the trip happen, overcome the obstacles to make it happen and what life was like in Greece. This book doesn’t sugar coat anything, you see how hard it was to make a living on the island, how difficult the government bureaucracy was to deal with and the hard realities to living your dream life.

I was surprised how good it was, I figured that at some point I would lose interest in the story but I never did. I enjoyed hearing about all the differences between Greeks and Americans and with Dario and Linda constantly having a new challenge to face, I was curious to see if they would be able to make a living. They have issues such as appliances not working, getting their belongings through customs, and getting their business up and going.

As they go to Greece they have a plan to make and sell soap using local ingredients. While they have a solid business plan what they didn’t plan on was the government red tape. Reading this book you can see what led to Greece’s financial collapse. The government sets up a lot of obstacles to starting new businesses which Dario and Linda have to deal with, also at one point you hear about a woman saying how employers get away with not paying their employees and one employee went over a month without getting paid. Another thing that you read about is one person saying that people use credit too much and they don’t seem to realize that one day they will have to pay the money back.

I loved reading about how Greek people were so friendly and very different from Americans. Dario talks about how they were invited to several dinners where everyone was encouraged to eat and drink until they got their fill. This book is worth reading for two reasons, it’s a great look at a culture that is very different from ours and its a story about a couple who tried to make their dreams come true. Aegean Dream is a great story from a great storyteller and is a book that you should read before you decide to follow your dreams. One thing you will learn is that you have to take the good with the bad, running down a dream isn’t easy.

Out From The Underworld

25047534Heather was six years old when her world was turned upside down. Her mother vanished leaving her family in a tailspin. Heather, along with her brother and sister were forced from a nice home to a dark basement where they lived with their father who never got over the loss of his wife. The children were eventually forced in and out of foster care with their only goals being to find out what happened to their mother and find a new home outside of the basement.

Out From The Underworld by Heather Siegel is a memoir about a dark childhood, but it’s also a story of hope and proof that patterns can be broken. The writing in the story is excellent and the characters seem like people you would see in your every day life, because they are. This is a story about neglect and abandonment but none of the characters in it are bad, they are more like shades of grey. Everyone has their own issues and what we have in this story is three siblings who learned that the only people they could trust 100 % was themselves.

I was impressed with the detailed memories that Heather has of this period of her life and I loved the fact that it seemed like this book was written from a kid’s point of view. Meaning that it wasn’t written from a viewpoint of an adult looking back on her childhood, the impression I got was that Heather was remembering everything from when she was a child and writing it as she saw it from her younger self’s viewpoint.

For instance one of my favorite scenes was early in the book when Heather’s grandma is complaining about her life and says she wishes she could move to Canada. Heather’s sister right away asks what’s stopping her from moving to Canada. Her grandma acts shocked and mentions several reasons why she can’t pick up and leave. I thought this was a great example of how children and adults look at the world differently. For kids its easy as saying this would make me happy so I’m going to do it, while an adult is more cynical and will come up with several reasons why they can’t be happy.

Another thing that really sticks out about Out From The Underworld is the realism. Heather talks about some horrible things in her childhood but she describes good times also.  She brings up some fond memories of one of the foster families she lived with but we hear of the family’s dark side as well. We also hear how everyones lives get better when Heather’s father gets a regular girlfriend but things eventually go bad. Another shade of grey in Heather’s life is her father. There are several instances in the book where you see that he is not really a good parental figure, but you also see instances where he shows love for his kids and because of his own upbringing never knew how to be a real father.

Out From The Underworld is a coming of age story by a woman who has suffered through more than most people suffer through. You hear about Heather’s world view and you see her opinions on life, working and school change as she gets older. The best part of this book though is that all the kids in the book managed to go on and live happy lives, but not all the people in the book had the same transformation. I think Out From The Underworld is a great example of how a memoir should be written and I hope other people who live under similar circumstances read this book and learn that it is possible to escape the cycle of a bad home life.

http://www.heathersiegel.net/

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