My name is Mary and I am an ABC (American Born Chinese) who received two life-saving kidney transplants from deceased donors when I was 5-years-old in 1987 and another one in 1995 when I was 12-years-old. I was born with renal agenesis, meaning that my kidneys never fully developed: one was shrinking and other was deformed. By the time I was 3-years-old, my kidneys shut down complete and I was put on peritoneal dialysis.
No one in my family was a match to donate a kidney to me. It was an extra whirlwind and stress for my parents who were not born in the U.S.A. and were thrown into the wild world of chronic kidney illness and issues and organ, eye, and tissue donation and transplantation.
I always say that the first part of my story revolved around my first kidney transplant was my parents’ story. This first kidney transplant eventually began to fail and I was prepped for hemodialysis. I was very scared and very aware that for me to live the quality of my life and not on a machine that someone would have to die. It was petrifying.
On 5/5/1995, I received my second kidney transplant. It has been 24 years. Not a day goes by that I do not think about my organ donors and their families. It is my mission and purpose to keep on sharing about my organ donors and their families and spread the word about the legacy we can all leave with the power of organ, eye, and tissue donation and transplantation.