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Stories of Hope

"Life is a gift"

“It is a responsibility to fight for it,” says heart recipient José and his sister, Alejandra.

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I only had a 2% chance

A lot of times, when you hear the words heart failure, you think of the elderly. As a healthy 25 year old, never did I expect to hear those two words. And never did I ever expect to heart those two words while pregnant with my second. Peripartum Cardiomyopathy. After...

T1D free!

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1990 when I was 6 years old. I had for the most part taken very good care of myself, and I never let T1D hold me back. In 2016 I was told that my kidneys had begun to spill protein (proteinuria), but that they still were 100% functioning, that I did not have kidney disease, and that the kidneys could be saved with a pancreas- only transplant

We can all help

For Kaci Alvarado, an ordinary Saturday of running errands resulted in an extraordinary act of kindness. The last task on her list that day was to have an oil change at a friend’s auto repair shop. While Kaci was there, her friend asked her to proofread a Facebook...

Losing a sister, saving a life with donation

A campus classroom may seem like an odd spot to consider organ donation. But trust Sara Miller when she tells you it is better than a hospital waiting room. That’s where she and her family made the decision eight years ago to donate the liver of Miller’s older sister, Laura, who had been declared brain-dead days after being diagnosed with cancer at age 14.

‘Yes’ means we’ve become a family

Michael Pettijohn was a strong guy. After four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, he went to work at a consulting engineering company and started taking night classes at UT San Antonio to earn his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Busy as he was, he didn’t think much of it when he started feeling tired, and didn’t even notice his eyes had turned yellow.

The special bond of Hudson and Uncle Trevor

Jordan and Morgan Hill carry with them a custom-made coin inspired by their son’s liver transplant and the man who saved his life. Morgan had the coin made weeks before his older brother, U.S. Army Special Operations Command Lt. Col. Trevor Hill, flew to Seattle from North Carolina to donate part of his liver to his 8 ½-month-old nephew, Hudson.

Be more

On April 2, 2016 Erin and I met and built a one of a kind friendship after being turned down by one hospital to become her organ donor. So passionate about continuing to spread the word on donation and its importance we never let the idea of encouraging others to "be...

A heart transplant is a miracle

My name is Jose Calderon. At the age of 35, I was in the prime of my life. I had a beautiful family – my wife, my daughters (ages 14 and 11) and my son (age 3 at that time). I was running a brand new business and I was on top of my game. And this business was allowing...

Life is a gift

What motivated me to get involved and become a DonateLife Ambassador? Through UNOS’ intervention, my brother Jose was able to receive a heart transplant. In my community, there have been two organ recipients: one received a kidney and the other a liver transplant....

Philip Rostek of Pittsburgh, PA

When i was very sick i came to a place where i met incredible people who were so inspiring that i will never forget their kindnesses, their expertise, and the drama of just meeting and then knowing them. My background is in personal expression. I became a masterpiece...

Brayden Welhoefer of Stoughton, WI

My son Brayden, age 5 1/2, was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia when he was three months old. He was on the waiting list for a new liver for eight months. On April 29, 2008, when he was just over a year old, Brayden received his first transplant. Unfortunately, there...

Brendon Dix of Albuquerque, NM

Brendon’s journey to transplantation was a long journey, indeed, and it is not your “typical” kidney-liver candidate story. He has a rare genetic disorder called Methylmalonic Acidemia (MMA), that affects his body’s ability to metabolize protein, and causes acid to...

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