Vicky’s journey began 40 years ago when she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at 26 years old. At 26, she was told her kidneys were functioning at 75%.
In her 40s, she started seeing a nephrologist, who monitored her kidney disease. She was told she would need a kidney transplant. Although transplantation was not mentioned when she was first diagnosed with kidney disease, this news was not a surprise.
When she was 50 years old, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, five years later, Vicky was cancer-free. It was the perfect time to start dialysis and get listed on the transplant waiting list.
Vicky was comfortable with the idea of a kidney transplant and was much less afraid of a transplant than she was of dialysis. She was already over twenty years into her journey, so she was ready to move forward.
Vicky was on the waiting list for eight years. She was fortunate to be able to work and socialize during that time. She cites her incredible support system – her family, boss, and friends – for helping her get through the waiting list.
When she finally received “the call,” it took her a moment to process the news.
“It was scary because it was an A to B kidney transplant,” Vicky said. “It was also scary that it was finally happening.”
Once the feeling of fear passed, Vicky was thrilled she was finally getting her transplant on Halloween 2016.
Post-transplant, Vicky went to the transplant center for bloodwork. It was then that she met her “twin kidney brother” – the recipient of her donor’s other kidney. Although the two did not keep in touch, it was an exciting experience for the two recipients to meet.
Vicky credits her caregivers for her recovery after transplant and is extremely grateful for them. She typically celebrates her transplant anniversaries with her kids each Halloween.
To raise awareness, Vicky talks to everyone she can about organ donation and transplantation. She hopes that her story helps others in the process.
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