Andrea Spraggins, LMSW: kidney recipient

Karen Handelman Donation Stories

Pontiac, MI – Andrea Spraggins was only nine when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Her kidneys failed when she was 19, and she was on peritoneal dialysis for two-and-a-half years before she decided to consider kidney transplant as a treatment option. “I was blessed to have supportive family members who offered to be living donors for me when I began dialysis,” said Andrea. “However, I decided to remain strong and do daily peritoneal …

Craig Hostert: kidney recipient

Karen Handelman Donation Stories

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 disorder of the kidneys. When his kidneys failed, Craig’s three brothers and sister tested to be …

Amy Nash: kidney recipient

Karen Handelman Donation Stories

Amy and her husband Jerry at the Unyts Donate Life Walk with dear family friend Annie Keller and Amy’s mom, Diane Weimer. Amy and her family participated in the 2013 Donate Life Rose Parade Float. Clarence, New York — Amy Nash was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease during her senior year in college. In the mid-1980s, living donation outside of immediate family members was very rarely done. Her family was tested, but while they all matched one …

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 …