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Donor Editing Memoir Sample

They say that no good deed goes unpunished, and in this case, it rings true. A woman decides to donate her eggs to a family and finds that when the procedure goes horribly wrong, she has no one who will advocate on her behalf.

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BEFORE EDITING

The first time I met Dr. Barron was July 2008, I had just moved from Canberra back to Melbourne it was a cold winter, I still remember the white frost on the grass as I made my way in the darkness each early morning to the Kensington train station. I lived with a close friend Andy who worked as a surveyor in the mines in Western Australia, he was on a fly in fly out basis. He owned the property in Kensington, I was pretty much there alone most of the time which never bothered me, but I looked forward to Andy returning every 3 weeks. He has always been a very good friend to me, I would keep an eye on the house and keep it clean and pay him rent, in return I had the place to myself most of the year. It’s a reasonable size three bedroom townhouse, picket fence out front single garage out the back open plane kitchen and a narrow set of steep stairs leading to the bedrooms and bathrooms above, it had a warm homely feel with the dark leather couches I loved the smell of so much. I like this house and area it makes me feel safe, Andy makes me feel safe. It’s situated on a walk so no street front, just a grassy walk within the old Kensington stockyards, I would often sit on the dark leather couches and I would look out to the old fencing and imagine the cattle coming into market, I would pretend the leather couches were the fresh smell of leather from stockman’s saddles as they drove their stock many years ago down the Walk into the sales. I often wondered if anyone would notice or even mind if I bought myself a pony and tethered it in the lush green grass that always grew so tall along the walk, it seemed such a waste to cut it always with the industrial mowers why not let a pony or stock chew it down? I used to live with Andy when I was at University before I moved to Canberra in 2008 and I had just moved back in with him after accepting an embryologist position back in Melbourne. It was nice to be back home surrounded by fiends and family again, back at my old gym in Kensington where I knew everyone and where the surroundings were familiar and the timetables were packed with classes. I love early mornings, I believe the early mornings are the best part of the day, you see a new beginning and see a beautiful transformation from darkness into light into the creation of a beautiful new day everything is new and we all get a new start at life each and every sunrise, its like a new day is born over and over so pure. The air is crisp and damp on my skin as I walk to the train, I can feel the chill of the August morning air cutting into my face. I remember I hated the walk to the station as it is all up hill and a good 25 minutes, by the time I make it to the train I am always sweaty and I usually only just make it as the train is pulling into the station. Usually blaring on my ipod in the wee hours of the morning is something like TZU playing to get me motivated for my day and wake me up. I would break my walk into sections to try and mentally pretend that it was quicker, so walking through the park was one section, ‘right park done! Section two to go’ I would say to myself, the next section would be from the park to the vet clinic then from the vet clinic to the station. I would also clock each section so I knew if I was a little behind time in one section there was a possibility I would miss the train. I am most lively in the morning and a very upbeat person so would always be stepping onto that train with a smile on my face singing along to my ipod “wake up its Monday!” Unfortunately first day on my new clinic I had a horrible virus, chest infection and sinus, I was coughing, finding it hard to breath like someone was sitting on my chest and tinny people were turning taps on in my sinus as my nose and eyes were like rivers, people on the train were looking at me like I had some horrible contagious virus that would wipe out the human race. I felt rotten enough with out their looks of disgust but I was determined not to call in sick first day this would look bad and I was sure I would feel better soon and I have never been one to give up so easily. I hate calling in sick I always figure I can push through and I get too board at home laying around, this is my active nature I guess. So on the train I sniff and cough while I bob away to my music. The train twists its way through the city loop, the high pitched screeching of the metal wheels on the tracks hurt my ears as it winds around the tracks and pulls up at each station. I depart at Flinders St station with the sea of peak hour and cram onto the tinny tram, which takes me to my destination. Soon I arrive at the clinic, a mixture of nerves and excitement overwhelm my body, as I step off the tram and walk into the clinic my heart does a little flip and the butterflies in my stomach begin to flutter around furiously trying to escape. I have always been excited by science even as a child, my brother James and I as children grew up on a sheep and beef farm where my father used to kill our own meat, James and I used to fight over the eyes and kidney and other parts to take away to dissect and see how these parts functioned, I still remember being so intrigued by the kidney when it was sliced in half, the star shape ligament inside with tubes running out, what was it that they all did? I remembered being so fascinated by the lens of the sheep’s eye, I was always amazed by all the small parts of the rabbit when we would go hunting and gutted the rabbit, the tinny intriquet sections of the heart, each chamber that once pumped blood in and out, and just before the rabbit died these chambers where working over time pumping adrenaline forced blood through each chamber at such high velocity.

AFTER EDITING

The first time I met Dr. Barron was in July 2008. I had just moved. It was a cold winter, and I still remember the white frost on the grass as I made my way in the darkness each early morning to the train station. I love early mornings; I believe the early mornings are the best part of the day. It is a time to see a new beginning and a beautiful transformation from darkness into light into the creation of a beautiful new day. Everything is new, and we all get a fresh start at life each and every sunrise. It’s like a new day is born over and over, so pure. The air is crisp and damp on my skin as I walk to the train. I can feel the chill of the August morning air cutting into my face.

I hated the walk to the station; it was all uphill and a good 25 minutes. By the time I make it to the train, I am always sweaty and just make it as the train is pulling into the station. Usually, blaring on my iPod in the wee hours of the morning is something like TZU, an Aussie band. I am most lively in the morning and very upbeat, so I would always be stepping onto that train with a smile on my face singing along to “Wake Up It’s Monday!” Their music would get me motivated for my day and wake me up. I would break my walk into sections to try and mentally pretend it was quicker. Walking through the park was one section - park, done. The next section would be from the park to the vet clinic, then from the vet clinic to the station. I would also clock each section so I knew if I was a little behind and would miss the train.

Unfortunately, I had a horrible virus on the first day at the new clinic. I was coughing with a chest infection and sinus problems. I found it hard to breathe like someone was sitting on my chest, and tiny people were turning taps on in my sinus as my nose and eyes were like rivers. People on the train looked at me like I had some

horrible contagious virus that would wipe out the human race. I felt rotten enough without their looks of disgust, but I was determined not to call in sick the first day. This would look bad, and I was sure I would feel better soon. I have never been one to give up so easily. I hate calling in sick I always figure I can push through, and I get too bored at home lying around. This is part of my energetic nature, I guess.

So on the train, I sniff and cough while I bob away to my music. The train twists its way through the city loop. The high-pitched screeching of the metal wheels hurt my ears as they winded around the tracks and pulled up at each station. I depart the station with the sea of peak hour and cram onto the tiny tram, which takes me to my destination. Soon I arrived at the clinic, and a mixture of nerves and excitement overwhelmed my body. As I step off the tram and walk into the clinic, my heart does a little flip, and the butterflies in my stomach flutter furiously, trying to escape.

Dr. Barron swept in through the clinic door at high speed before eight a.m., demanding, “Where is the patient for egg collection? Common team, why are we not ready?”

I saw this thin man with neatly swept-back dark brown hair and pale skin. He was such a small man making so many people nervous. What was it about him? I then realized I recognized him from my course last year at University. He was one of our lecturers. I found his lectures to be one of the most enjoyable and always found him interesting. I constantly found myself staring at him in these classes, breaking him down from the outside, wondering what his life was like, why he was always in such a hurry, and why I only found his strange jokes funny. I was the only person who got super

excited about his literature review topics and chose each one to review. I found this man intriguing and interesting, not intimidating like everyone else seemed to be.

After working with him for several months, I would watch him come and go in the lab, always in a hurry. He was very rude and abrupt to people. His fiery temper often made nurses cry on odd occasions. The longer I worked there, I started to get to know this brusque man. Our personalities actually worked as TZU would rap “like baseline to base drum.” We began to become close colleagues that then turned to friendship. We respected each other as colleagues and friends, sharing birthday parties and functions together with the nickname of Uncle B.

People would put me in theatre, where egg collection takes place, with Dr. Barron as they despised working with his personality and short temper that much, but I loved his company and appreciated his friendship.

I worked in a country clinic with Dr. Barron. Satellite clinics were set up for 10 days with one or two other scientists for the rural patients. I always tried to make these challenging to keep Dr. Barron on his toes. Things were never dull. I know when there is a need to be serious, but when we worked under the pump for ten days, all stressed and tired, a little fun is always needed. That’s when I came into play. So I could say Dr. Barron and I had a very close and humorous relationship.

More time passed. I had been working at the clinic for around 2 years when I discussed egg donation with Dr. Barron. He talked about how not enough women were donating, and couples were waiting for donors as they could not find their own. In some countries, you can pay for egg donors; in others, it is a genetic gift, like where I live.

Donors will be paid by the clinic for parking or train/tram tickets and drugs but not paid for their gametes (reproductive cells - sperm and eggs).

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