Stories of Hope

Julian, kidney recipient

Lifesaving gift of a living donor

Kidney recipient Julian spent much of his childhood in and out of the hospital due to having a rare disease that limited blood flow to his lungs and kidneys. Defying the odds, Julian reached adulthood and was getting ready to celebrate Christmas with his wife and infant son when he became very ill and wound up in the hospital once again. He learned that he had end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and for the next two years, Julian endured a grueling daily dialysis regimen. He missed out on precious time with his family and was forced to leave his job. A kidney transplant was his only chance.

Julian’s sister, Ana, wanted to help, and testing brought the good news that she was a perfect match for living donation. Two months later, at the age of 31, Julian received his new kidney. He felt better almost immediately, and the recovery process was smooth for both Julian as the kidney recipient, and for Ana as his living donor. A few weeks later, Julian was already beginning to live the active lifestyle that had previously been impossible, and Ana was back to work as an EMT.

Life after kidney transplant

Stronger, healthier and free from dialysis, Julian has returned to his job as an auto technician. He enjoys the simple things that he could not do before, like drinking as much water as he wants. Most importantly, he is now the involved husband and father he always wanted to be. Julian makes it a priority to spend time with his loved ones, cherishing every moment they have together. As a kidney recipient, Julian does not dwell on petty things — he knows that life is too precious and too short not to focus on being happy.

Julian had always admired Ana’s big heart, but ultimately, it was her kidney that saved him. Their living donation journey has strengthened their bond, and Julian will be forever grateful for the gift of life he received from his sister.