Susana is a wife, mother to one son, proud owner of two adopted dogs and, most recently, a non-directed kidney donor.

Susana’s father was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease in 2011, and he began dialysis. Susana decided that she wanted to be tested to be his donor. Unfortunately, he ran into further health complications and a transplant was no longer a viable option. Her father passed away in 2013. The experience motivated Susana to learn more about the lack of available organs. “I asked myself what I could do to make a difference,” Susana states. “If I was willing to live with one kidney when I wanted to donate to my dad, what would be different about living with one kidney now?”

Four years later, Susana made the decision to donate a kidney and began working with a local transplant center to take the necessary steps. On her 44th birthday, Susana was wheeled into surgery. Everything went as planned. She was up and walking around the very next day, and Susana was back to working full-time four weeks later.

“Donation has enriched my life in a way that is very hard to describe,” says Susana. She encourages others to register to be organ, eye and tissue donors and to consider being living donors as well. “Think of not just how you could help someone waiting for an organ, but think of their families,” Susana points out. “One kidney will not change the world, but it will change someone’s world.”

Article provided by the Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC)