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Reviewed by Emma Megan for Readers' Favorite
Second Chance: A Kidney Between Us by Tina Shyver-Plank is a searingly honest short memoir about a special bond between two first cousins and how their lives changed due to a shared kidney. Tina Shyver-Plank was 35 years old when she donated a kidney to her dying cousin, Brian Shyver (32 years old), because she wanted to and also because no other family member was a match. In this memoir, Tina shares her own and Brian's experiences with the US healthcare system and the hardships, difficulties, and tragedies throughout their lives. Tina also recounts her struggles with her highly conservative family and her attempts to cope with depression, severe anxiety, suicide, social isolation, and more while trying to navigate life without ending it.
Second Chance: A Kidney Between Us by Tina Shyver-Plank is a profoundly moving true story about how one change impacted many lives, about second chances, a special bond, family, life, hope, and love. It's a challenging and uplifting read that affected me, and I'm sure it will stay with me as it's so heartbreaking and intriguing. Second Chance is an achingly vulnerable account of an awful childhood defined by the complexities of the author's relationship with her father and mother. However, it gives those in suffering hope and inspires them to find the courage and strength to continue living despite the difficult things in their lives. Tina Shyver-Plank has a golden heart and deserves happiness and respect for her kind deed. I recommend Second Chance as it explores the benefits of donating organs.