Return Home > “Waiting for a Kidney Is Long But It Shows Me How Strong I Can Be”

“Waiting for a Kidney Is Long But It Shows Me How Strong I Can Be”

Each day in the U.S., 17 people die waiting for the precious gift of an organ. The kidney is the organ needed most with 90,000 waiting for a life-saving transplant.

Some say waiting for a transplant is like holding your breath. For the thousands on the kidney waitlist, it can be a rollercoaster of emotions, including a regimen of dialysis that sustains life but can be exhausting and painful.

Each day in the U.S., 17 people die waiting for the precious gift of an organ. A half million people are suffering from End-Stage Renal Disease, with 90,000 in need of a new kidney to survive; they are the majority of transplant waitlist patients. Many strive to maintain a normal life, not letting their medical condition define them. The generosity of strangers is their hope. Every person who registers to become an organ donor has the potential to save up to eight lives, leaving a powerful legacy of kindness. It takes less than a minute to sign up at donors1.org/register.

Brianna’s Story

Brianna Herrera, a bright student with a passion for music, was shocked to be diagnosed with kidney failure during her senior year of high school. “Everything felt like it was crashing down on me, and I felt like I had no future,” she recalled. But Brianna persevered to become a first-generation college student majoring in music education as she waits for a transplant.

“Despite going through all of this, I am still trying to achieve my dreams. My superpower is that I am extremely determined,” Brianna said. “I know that many people don’t think about organ donation, but it helps give others an opportunity to get their life back, to keep going and I think that that’s something beautiful. The day that I get the kidney will be a new beginning, and I just know that all my hopes and dreams will finally be more within reach.”

Phillip’s Story

Like Brianna, Phillip Davis discovered how quickly life can change. “On my 34th birthday, I was having the worst headache ever and then the next thing I know, I’m in the hospital being told I have chronic kidney disease,” he recalled. Phillip, an assistant school principal, has been on the kidney waitlist for three years, persevering for himself, his family and his students until he receives his gift of life.

“I work every day although I have to go to dialysis Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I’m still a dad despite that. I’m still a husband despite that,” he said. “Waiting for a kidney is long; sometimes you feel hopeless. But it also shows me how strong I can be.”

He added, “For everyone who may be on the fence about organ donation, do the research, get educated. There are a lot of people waiting and depending on donation to have a better quality of life. You’re saving someone’s life, you may be saving as many as eight lives at once, and we desperately need it.”

Lorie’s Story
A woman poses for a photo in front of a background.

Lorie Hagar faced her need for a new kidney already knowing the powerful impact of organ donation thanks to the life-saving heart transplant her father received. “The need for donors is so great. I don’t think people realize how important checking that box is,” she said.

As a waitlist patient, she focused on the future and worked to “keep moving forward” for all the people who depend on her as a wife, mother, daughter and sister. Thanks to an extraordinary gift from a living donor, Lorie received a transplant much sooner than expected. Her husband, Chris, urges people to sign up to become a donor, which has a profound ripple effect. “You are not just affecting the person who gets your organ, you are affecting their whole family,” he said.

Be the first to leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *