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Annie 12.9.08

Annie 12.9.08

Posted: Tuesday, December 9, 2008 10:06 pm

Dear Annie: I am a sophomore in college and living the college life to the fullest. I go to a very rigorous school, and my studies, my job and sorority life take up most of my time. Lately, I have noticed that all my friends seem to be getting into serious relationships. I, on the other hand, don’t have any real prospects, and to be honest, when I go to parties, I want to have fun and hang with my friends. I feel I’m missing out on something. I must also add that I am a virgin and plan to stay that way until I am at least engaged. Pregnancy doesn’t coincide with my master plan (law school). It all makes sense in my head, but in my heart I’m lonely and worried that I may become an old maid. What is your advice? — On the Road to Success Yet Lonely Dear On the Road: We understand the pressure you are under, watching your friends become attached, but it’s not a good reason to get seriously involved. Many of your friends’ current relationships may not last. College provides a terrific opportunity to meet same-age potential partners. You’re only a sophomore. Use this time to meet as many people as you can. If someone interests you, great, but just connecting is a good way to improve your dating skills and learn what you want in a relationship. Please don’t rush. Dear Annie: Nine years ago, my husband, Robb, received the most memorable and priceless holiday gift — a kidney/pancreas transplant from a deceased donor. Though we’ve never met the donor’s family, we are always mindful of their generosity, particularly during the holiday season. I took stock of my life and how blessed I was and decided to give myself as a gift. Inspired by my late mother’s love and the generosity of my husband’s donor, I offered myself as a living nondirected kidney donor. It was the best gift ever. I was matched with the most compatible person on the waiting list, and we had the opportunity to meet after the surgery. My recipient, Dee, is now my dear friend. It gives me indescribable joy to know my gift allows her to enjoy healthy holidays with her large family after enduring six years of dialysis. I am also registered as a donor on my driver’s license and hope that more parts of me will live on as gifts to others after my death. I know this will comfort my loved ones and bring healing and hope to those waiting for the gift of life. I encourage your readers to join the National Kidney Foundation’s Holiday Gift of Life Campaign and give hope to the 100,000 Americans whose holiday wish list consists of one gift — a lifesaving organ transplant. If health and circumstances allow, consider becoming a living donor. Readers interested in learning more can visit the foundation’s website at www.kidney.org. — Lora Ward Wilson, Pittsburgh, Pa. Dear Lora Wilson: Your husband was fortunate to have received his transplant, and you, dear, are truly a loving and selfless individual to have donated a kidney to a stranger. What a marvelous gift. Bless you. Dear Annie: You printed a letter from “Have Medicare But No Doctor,” who asked, among other things, whether doctors are required to accept Medicare patients. You didn’t specifically answer that. So are doctors required to accept Medicare patients? And are you sure it’s legal for doctors to accept supplementary payments over what Medicare allows? — Newtown, Conn. Dear Newtown: Doctors are not required to accept Medicare patients. And you are correct that it is illegal to accept supplementary payments. We misspoke when suggesting sliding-scale fees in addition to Medicare costs. We should have said sliding-scale fees instead of using Medicare to pay for medical treatment. We’ll be printing more responses to this in future columns. Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. Published in The Messenger 12.9.08

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