Donate Life Texas

My Sister Gina; The Gift That Keeps Giving

Out of 6 kids, I am the shortest, I am the dip in the middle, at 5’1″ while the rest are 5’6″ to 6’3″, I never could understand why I was so unique… Not only am I vertically challenged, I am also the only one with the genetic disease Polyscytic Kidney Disease (My parents didn’t have it, either). Only 10% of the PKD population have it because they are spontaneous mutations! Worldwide, PKD affects 13 million people and many people don’t even know they have it until they are symptomatic.
My disease didn’t slow me down until my early 40’s and by 45 yrs of age, I was on the transplant list and getting ready for dialysis. In 1998, all 6 of my siblings offered to be tested to be donors, but only 2 had compatible blood types (18 yrs ago, you had to have compatible blood types, now there are studies and trials using methods that allow different blood types to be used for transplanting kidneys).
Gina and I only share 1 out of 6 antigens and I have never had an episode of rejection, I take very little anti rejection drugs and no steroids. I honor Gina’s gift every day by eating right and not partaking in alcohol or smoking. Therefore, I feel this chosen lifestyle has afforded me all these “extra” beautiful years of life.
Gina’s generous gift has allowed me to travel, see my kids graduate from College and one of my children get married, hopefully I will witness the other marry and one day I have grandbabies to love!
I live alone but I have fur babies (2 dogs and 2 cats) that keep me secure and happy. I am retired now, so in my spare time, I enjoy gardening (with gloves and a mask), walking my puppies, volunteering and doing art projects.
It is my passion to share my happy story as often as possible through FaceBook, events and casual conversation with anybody! I feel it’s important to educate people, that not only am I thriving, but so is my sister Gina.

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