Listening to the transformational experience of kidney patients and living donors

UCLA Former Users Donation Stories, Staff Updates

By Ally Zweigle, Intern Throughout my time at TREC, I progressed from knowing very little about what kidney disease is like for those who have it, let alone its astounding effects on both the diagnosed individual as well as those around them, to being convinced that I should someday donate my own kidney to someone in need. Perhaps this was a consequence of one of my internship assignments, which was to code video submissions for …

The power of digital storytelling featuring recipients and donors from the Living Donation Storytelling Project

UCLA Former Users Donation Stories

By Jessica Nunez, Intern On November 20, 2020, Dr. Waterman gave a talk titled “The Power of Digital Storytelling to Educate, Empower, and Engage Patients and Prospective Donors” as part of a virtual series hosted by the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation. You can view the full talk here. The talk highlighted the Transplant Research and Education Center (TREC)’s Living Donation Storytelling Project, which aims to share the real-life testimonies of living kidney donors and …

Television and Medicine: patients, donors, and medical professionals respond to new CBS sitcom about living donation

UCLA Former Users Donation Stories, Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Research & Education Associate On November 5th, five million people watched the premiere of a new CBS show about living donation! “B Positive” is a new comedy sitcom following one man’s living donation journey. Drew, a therapist, and single dad, is shocked to find out his kidneys are failing and he’s in urgent need of a transplant. With a rare blood type and lacking friends or family to ask to be his …

Surveying Spanish-Speaking Kidney Patients

Rachyl Pines Donation Stories, Transplant News

By Yaquelin Arevalo Iraheta, Junior Research Associate. Using an interpreter is worse than having both the patient and provider speak the same language because it loses the personal and intimate element between both parties. Breaking the language barrier that Spanish-speaking patients face when receiving healthcare can also help them overcome cultural barriers such as mistrust of their provider. One of the research projects going on at the Transplant Research and Education Center (TREC) involves surveying …

Dr. Amy Waterman named the 2019 AST Clinician of Distinction

Amanda Lipsey Donation Stories

We are excited to announce that Dr. Amy Waterman has been named the recipient of the 2019 Clinician of Distinction Award by the American Society of Transplantation (AST)! Each year the award is presented to a non-physician clinician who is an expert in their field and who is making outstanding contributions to clinical transplant. This year Dr. Waterman was nominated by Dr. Matthew Cooper, a longtime friend and colleague, and a professor of surgery and …

Real patient stories inspire and educate

Amanda Lipsey Donation Stories, From the Founder, Transplant News

Some of our earliest memories are of hearing stories read to us by our parents – fairy tales, fables, adventures, and epic journeys. Storytelling is an innate and universal part of the human experience. Stories help us make sense of our lives, mark important occasions, and share and connect with the people who matter to us. From founding myths like the tale of Romulus and Remus to true accounts of heroism, or even casual stories …

Craig Hostert: kidney recipient

Karen Handelman Donation Stories

To have my son give life back to our family has made us even more committed. The Hosterts are an active family, going on ski trips, camping trips, attending sporting events, spending time with friends and just watching movies together. No one would guess that Craig used to rely on dialysis to maintain his life, or that two of the family members are living kidney donors. In 1986, Craig Hostert was diagnosed with an autoimmune …

Valen Keefer: winning my war against PKD

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Donation Stories

Since age five, Valen Keefer has battled and triumphed over seizures, scoliosis surgery, pancreatitis and polycystic kidney disease (PKD). After undergoing dialysis and more than 70 blood transfusions, Valen “won the war” when Sally Robertson gave her a kidney on August 13, 2002. Valen reflects on her transplant journey. As one health issue mounted on top of the next, I did not have time to process the reality of my life as an 18- and …

Mary Wu: transplantation…a lifetime journey

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Donation Stories

Mary Wu was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure as a toddler. Transplants at ages 3 and 12 saved her life. Mary reflects on her transplant journey. I received two kidney transplants, one in 1987 and the other in 1995, both from deceased donors. No one in my family was a match to donate a kidney to me. Prior to both of these transplants and during these particular times, there was not a real push for …

Melissa Benosouda: choosing to live

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Donation Stories

At age 24, Melissa Bensouda was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease after giving birth to her second daughter. After her third child, a son, was born, she lost all kidney function. On April 16, 2012, Melissa’s wait of nearly ten years for a transplant finally came to an end. Melissa reflects on her transplant journey. When I was initially diagnosed with kidney disease, I was already in ESRD (end-stage renal disease) and fortunate enough to …

Phillip Palmer: my decision to donate

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Donation Stories

Phillip Palmer, morning anchor for ABC7 in Los Angeles, was inspired to donate a kidney after reading a Sports Illustrated article about then-NBA star and transplant recipient Alonzo Mourning. He resolved then to one day save someone’s life as a living kidney donor. Years later, that person turned out to be longtime friend Dale Davis. Phillip reflects on his living donation journey. Oddly enough, I learned most everything I know about living donation as I …