Stories of Hope

Vanessa, kidney recipient

Vanessa was 21 years old when she first started feeling ill. She tried to ignore her symptoms and continue with life as usual but soon ended up in the hospital. She learned that she had Goodpasture syndrome, a rare condition that attacks the lungs and kidneys. Vanessa received a treatment for her lungs, but her kidneys had been permanently damaged. For the next 11 years, Vanessa juggled a full-time job and daily dialysis treatments. When the dialysis stopped helping, a kidney transplant was her only chance to live.

Vanessa’s father, Gilbert, was a perfect match for living donation. Six months later, at the age of 32, Vanessa got her new kidney. She felt better immediately and the recovery process was smooth for both Vanessa and Gilbert. In less than two months, Vanessa was ready to get back to living and to start pursuing her dreams.

Vanessa found love and a business partner in the year following her transplant. She met her fiancé, Ben, and opened a successful restaurant, which they own together. As the chef, Vanessa is on her feet for many hours each day, something that would not have been possible without her transplant. Her new kidney also enabled Vanessa to achieve something that she never dreamed would be possible — becoming a mom to a healthy baby girl, LisaMarie. Gilbert and Vanessa’s living donation journey has strengthened their bond, and Vanessa will be forever grateful for the care she received from her family and for the gift of life she received from her father.