ISO Certified

NKTI Life Stories and Testimonials

Narrated by Ms. Tootsie Lazo
My Story…

Hi to all readers of the NKTI Website. Call me Tootsie. My other name is Marilou. I was married to a Garcia but we got divorced so I am proudly back to my maiden name, Lazo. I had a kidney transplant surgery in November 18, 1986 at the National Kidney Foundation (now National Kidney and Transplant Institute. Dr. Manuel Chuachiaco and Dr. Rosemarie Rosete-Liquete were my Transplant Surgeons, Dr. Jose Antonio L. Torrella was my Anesthesiologist, and the Nephrology Fellow was Dr. Phillip Neri Lazo.

I was diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease secondary to Chronic Glomerulonephritis in May 18, 1986 by Dr. Aquilina Sioson, a Nephrology consultant at FEU-NRMF Hospital. I underwent emergency peritoneal dialysis (PD) that same day when the laboratory results showed my Creatinine level was 10mg/dl. An AV fistula was created on my left arm the following day. Dr. Sioson told me that the access will come in handy in case PD wasn't good for me. I had a cardiac arrest during the PD session, Luckily, I  was revived. When a bruit could be felt at my AV fistula, hemodialysis was started. Twice a week, from the 3rd week of May to the 2nd week of November 1986, I dragged myself to the hospital for the sessions, I feared the day when the nurse calls to remind me that I was due for dialysis at 8:00am.I arrested two more times prior to my transplant.

Dialysis was a harrowing experience. It was painful and drained me physically, mentally and financially, I was too sick I thought I won’t survive long enough for the transplant.

When Dr. Sioson urged me to consider transplantation, I felt a surge of hope rush through me, but it was short-lived, I learned that before you could actually undergo the operation, there were several major factors to consider, first is the source of the organ to be transplanted.

                                         
Again I sought the advice of Dr. Sioson. She told me that if I have siblings, one of them might be a good match for me. Other relatives offered to be screened but their blood types and ages were not ideal. In the end, it was my younger sister Maribel Jeanette who volunteered to sacrifice one of her kidneys. She was perfectly healthy and we were haplotypes.

Another major problem was logistics; the cost of a kidney transplant operation is very prohibitive. My family was drained financially due to my Dialysis treatments. My co-worker and my son's baptismal ninang, Angelita Fucanan wrote a letter to the late Pres. Corazon Aquino requesting for financial assistance for my surgery. A neighbor who was one of Malacanan’s press agents gave the letter to a Presidential aide. I didn't have high hopes that my request will be granted. It came as a big surprise when Dr. Filoteo Alano, then Director of NKFP summoned me to his office to inform me that there was an endorsement from the Department of Health for. My transplant operation there was another obstacle to hurdle. I had to pass the screening by the Committee on Dialysis and Transplant Acceptance board. Miss Dory Madlangbayan, a social worker, was member of the group. She came to the house and assessed our living conditions. She had to report to the group whether I was a good candidate for a transplant. Ms. M might have fought hard for me because in a matter of weeks I had a schedule for the operation.

While waiting for my turn at the operating table, some of my relatives were dissuading my sister from becoming my organ donor. They said it wouldn't last anyway so why sacrifice one of her kidneys and her money. Apparently, my sister had her mind set to give me a second chance at life. 

The transplant surgery was a roaring success. Since that fateful day, almost 26 years ago, I have lived a life that is more meaningful and more useful.

My family and friends has always been supportive pre and post transplant. My sister saved me from dying by giving a kidney. Officemates contributed money for my Dialysis, cheered me up with phone calls, cards and flowers when I was depressed, visited me at the hospital when I was sick and brought me food when I asked for it. I am such a lucky person. Through all these years though, it was my faith in God that gave me the strength to carry on. I am blessed because God loves me.


My NKTI HOPE experience…

I became a part of HOPE when a dear friend, Jennifer Misa, a kidney transplant recipient herself, convinced me to apply for the job of Transplant Coordinator at NKI. Jenny was moving to Australia for good, so there was a vacancy for the item. I was then employed at the National Museum. I passed the interview, and it wasn't really hard to transfer from one government agency to another. It was also an upgrade from my previous position.

My decision to work for NKTI was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I found my calling. It allowed me to be more useful to society, to become part of a life-saving movement. My being a kidney transplant recipient gave credibility to the advocacy that I was promoting-Organ Donation and Transplantation. I represented the many patients whose lives have been changed through kidney transplantation.

The job of a Transplant Coordinator is a hard and thankless one. I think during my time, we were not compensated enough for all the commitment, sacrifices and dangers that we had to face during cadaver referrals. We did not have bonuses or any kind of remuneration after each cadaver harvest. From what I've heard, the TCs of today have "easier lives".

I stayed with HOPE for 15 years. I've given all I had to give, yet not once have I been given a pat on the back for a job well done. To them, it was just a job. To me, it was blood, sweat and tears
 

My KITAP experience…

Initially, after a patient has undergone a transplant operation, he/she feels uncertain as to what lies ahead. He/she finds it hard to relate, even with family members.

I am really thankful that there is KITAP (Kidney Transplant Association of the Philippine, Inc.).A month after my surgery, I became actively involved with its activities. I easily became friends with the first set of officers, especially Engrs. Boy Zabala and Dominador Fermin. I became their Girl Friday and took me with them to Transplant. Games in different countries. Doming and I were the first transplantees who represented our country in these competitions.

Boy Z. And Doming F.'s commitment to KITAP inspired me to run for office. I rose from the ranks .I held almost all positions until I finally decided it was time to run as President of the organization. I was Prexy for 4 straight years. I have initiated projects that made KITAP a by-word. I have rubbed elbows with the best and the famous in the transplant recipient world, thanks to KITAP. My being a kidney transplant did not deter me from achieving success. I won medals in transplant competitions here and abroad, I was the Best Female Athlete, in the First National Transplant Games, which I helped organize. I was given recognition as the Most Outstanding Transplant Recipient and given the Gintong Ina Award .My life was even featured in the TV series "Magpakailanman" to inspire others, according to the writer and producer. Everything that I did for KITAP was a selfless act, It was merely a perk that I was given recognition for my commitment to the organization and the love and concern for my fellow transplant recipients.

Though I now live in the US, I make it a point to be a part of this family as best I could. I still contribute to our newsletter (PITAK) and get involved with its activities as much as possible.
KITAP is my second family and I am proud to be a part of this organization.
 

My Family …

There were drastic changes in my family life after I had the kidney transplant. Before I got sick, my husband's and children’s needs came first before mine. It would be okay for me not to buy a much wanted dress just so my kids could have the toys that they wanted. I used to stay up until midnight waiting for a husband who was out late with his drinking friends. I was an indefatigable working mom to my children, a long-suffering wife who didn't rebel against the verbal and physical abuse that my unreasonably jealous husband inflicted on me. Then, I t was all about THEM.

My husband never really understood why certain adjustments should be made regarding our family life. The kids had to learn that Imuran came first before a Fisher and Price toy. They had to refrain from hugging or kissing me when they had cough or colds. Somebody else had to take care of them when they were sick. I felt I was useless.

After the transplant, it was more about ME.I was so afraid of getting sick or rejecting my graft that I somewhat alienated myself from my family.

I had a strained relationship with my husband that finally ended in divorce.

Several years after the transplant, I realized that life is empty without the hugs and kisses of my children and grandchildren. Now they tell me, “Sorry mom, we're not coming to visit because the baby has a cough” instead of me telling them, “Don’t come near me if you are sick”. My children have accepted the fact that I am a special person with special needs.

Having an organ recipient in the family is never easy. While the patient needs a cornucopia of self-sacrifice, kindness, love and understanding, a family member should not be made to feel that the relationship is a one-way traffic. Just be grateful and happy that you are both alive.
 

Living in the US …

I find my life as a transplant patient more fulfilling when I was residing in the Philippines. I had a lot of activities that underlined my being an organ recipient. There were HOPE and KITAP to occupy my every waking moments.

Although I attend a Transplant Support Group meeting in one of the transplant centers here in the US, there’s really not much of interaction among the patients. Most them would rather be by themselves than mingle with other patients.

There are several organizations of Dialysis and Transplant patients but I haven't found one that I would really want to be a part of. I attended a party for KTs once. I was greatly disappointed because it was not as exciting as the ones that KITAP organizes. 

I wanted to form a transplant group of Filipinos living here in the US but HIPAA is a big deterrent. Nobody is allowed give any kind of information about a patient, not even a telephone number, unless the patient consents to it. There is also the language barrier to consider. Not all patients can speak Spanish. This is the reason why I only have a handful of Transplant recipients here.

I used to work as Research Coordinator for a company whose subjects were renal patients. I was also a Patient Educator in a Dialysis center. I stopped working since two years ago due to health reasons. Today, I find myself not as useful anymore although I find some kind of fulfillment whenever I inspire people when I tell them that I have had a kidney transplant for almost 26 years now.

The upside of my decision to move to the US is that I can be with my children and grandchildren more often now. I also don't need to line up at PCSO or at the offices of Congressmen to beg for financial assistance. I don't have to worry about my medications, procedures and admissions even if I don't have any money at hand. Our government takes care of its people.
 

Missing the Philippines …

The US has been my permanent residence since 2005. I still come back to visit when the opportunity arises.

There are 3 F’s that I miss living in the Philippines:

FAMILY (I do have a lot of relatives I miss spending quality time with my dad and stepmom, my sister Ging and her family, cousins, nieces and nephews. Most of all, I miss being pampered by my Darls.)

FRIENDS (Dr. Mike and Rose Liquete, the Yusi Family (Gene, Au and kids), Dra.Benita Padilla, Cathy Acayan, Jo Villalon, Madam Blessie Gutierrez, Alma Sorongon, my KITAP family to name a few)

FOOD (nothing beats Filipino food I would trade my steak and lobster with the bibingka from Siam-siam, the dudol, ronoron, tatus and ubog ti labig from Claveria, empanada and longganisa from Vigan, longganisang Lucban (from Jo V.), itlog na maalat from Cathy,Jamaican pattie, adobo and lengua of the Yusi family, the dinengdeng of Ging, inihaw na pla-pla, pritong tawilis, tinapang bangus from Bataan, and ginataang santol of Mang Junior and Tess Prima. I miss the food that we order everytime the Pugad Baboy group gets together.)


My realizations …

Life is a gamble. When you think you are going to lose, don't give up that easily. Use your  "trump card", so to speak. Dialysis is never a cure for chronic renal failure. Your activities are more limited, your physical appearance is less appealing. Transplantation is your "trump card"-your last move to win against dying without a fight. 

There is always a risk to everything but taking the risk of undergoing a transplant surgery will definitely be worth it; 

and to all post transplant recipients –

There is no sure-fire formula for long-term survival but being proactive with your healthcare and compliant to your doctor's orders/advices goes a long way.

Celebrate each day of your extended life. Live it to the fullest, in a clean and healthy way.

The best way to show gratitude to your kidney donor is by taking good care of that part of him/her that he/she sacrificed just so you can have a second chance at life.

Most of all, thank God each day of your life for He is the Great Healer.


“Mam Tootsie Lazo has been living in the US for several years and had been featured in numerous TV shows, newspapers and books on and about kidney transplant.  She is a living and a joyous proof and advocate that organ transplant is more than a surgery procedure, but a life-transforming experience” 


__________________________________________________________________________________________


Interview with Mr. Johnny Victor C. Laoang
 

When and where were you operated as a donor to your brother?  

The kidney transplant operation with my brother was done at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), June 11, 1982. My brother was a graduating medical student when he was diagnosed of having a kidney problem.

There were no symptoms or whatsoever regarding with his health during his pre-med days, he just felt something is wrong why he gets exhausted easily. He approached his professors and consulted his problem with them and took a sample of his blood for laboratory examinations. The laboratory result revealed that his Creatinine was 42 and his professor told him that with a creatinine as high as that, you should be dead or in a comatose.

My brother was told to drop out of school if he wants to live and he was then referred to a Nephrologist  - Dr. Marieta De Luna.  My brother was diagnosed further and told that both of his kidneys failed (Congenital) and needs kidney transplant.

My brother took it hard and was not able cannot accept it and he felt his world crumbled. His agony began when dialysis was performed on him.


What were your expectations then?  

We are all six (6) in the family, all of us were willing to donate our kidneys.  After all the necessary medical work-ups, I was the lucky one who came close to the Tissue Typing test.

I felt mixed emotions; happy that i can help my brother to ease his pain hoping that after the transplant everything will be back in normal but  I was also nervous because it will be my first time to be confined in a hospital and I didn’t know what will happen to me after the operation.

It’s a natural feeling too that i was scared; I had no one to ask except our doctors. Our doctors guaranteed that everything will be alright after the operation and i can live a normal life and do the usual things that I was doing. I asked only one thing to Dr. De Luna before the operation, “pagdating po ba ng araw at magkaasawa ako, magkakaanak po ba ako?” and Dr. De Luna answered me “Kung hindi ka baog magkakaanak ka pa, malayo naman kidney mo sa ano mo”, and then she laughed.

I told her that I am willing to give my kidney to my brother and schedule the operation as soon as possible. My entire family gave their full support to me and my brother and we also talked about the operation to be done, the expenses, etc... We went to different churches praying for Divine intervention and make the operation successful. Additional tests were done to me and the operation was scheduled after that school semester.


How did being a donor impact your family life?  

Being a donor has a significant change in me being a person:

On my Family – After the operation, I was treated like a hero. I felt special, my parents, brothers and sister won’t let me do anything; kain tulog lang ako noon during early days after the operation. Everybody was very concern to me even up to now. They keep on telling me to watch my health, do my routine medical check-up. They treat me very special, as much as possible they don’t want me to work very hard.

Husband and Father – It’s a blessing that I have my own family now. I am blessed having a very kind and beautiful wife, and two loving kids. Humility, respect and love for one another and lending a helping hand to those who are in need were the traits inculcated by our parents to us and these very same traits are the one that i am trying to impart to my kids.


What can you impart to those experiencing hesitations or fears as a potential kidney donor?

Donating a kidney is a lifetime decision; others think that living with one kidney has a very high risk of getting sick, weakens the body and many other things. You can never be a kidney donor if you are not physically fit. A kidney donor will undergo a process of medical work up. Seeing my brother suffer from his agonizing ailment is very miserable, you cannot do anything to help him to ease his pain. The process of undergoing three (3) times a week dialysis is like a torture to him, adding the family expenses in sustaining his medications. So when I learned that I am the best candidate to be a kidney donor for my brother,  I did not hesitate to give my kidney.

I consider myself lucky; people are in awe when they know that i am a kidney donor. They admire me for what I’ve done, i appreciate the praises they’re telling me in fact it’s a plus factor for me when i am still courting my wife.... it became ‘pogi’ points to her parents. When i was applying for a job here at the NKTI my being a donor helped me a lot, after my preliminary interview by the Deputy Executive Director, he told me to complete my requirements and start right away upon learning that i am a kidney donor. 

For those prospective kidney donors who are hesitant to donate their kidney especially to their relatives what i can say is to think positive. There is more in giving, give until it hurts because the blessing will come back to you a hundred folds. God is good! He knows what you did to your brothers.

I have received countless blessing without my knowledge, it just come when i needed it most. This is the perfect example of “It is better to give than to receive”. Put yourself having renal problem and needs to be transplanted and no donor is available.... can you picture yourself? Just imagine it....


What can you say to those who already became a donor?

We are heroes to the eyes of our recipients.

Don’t brag what you did, there will be other people who will make you great.  Take a lot of care of yourself, live a disciplined, humble and happy life, it’s the only one we have. >>


Note:  Mr Johnny Victor C. Laoang is currently the Quality Assurance Officer for IT at the Information Resource Management Division of NKTI.  He has been with NKTI for 22 years and had been recognized by KITAP on their ‘Tribute to Donors’ events.  Johnny celebrated his 30th year this June as a kidney donor.


___________________________________________________________________________________________


*From the book I HAVE THREE KIDNEYS” Chapter 12

“God Closes One Door To Open Another”
Agnes Festejo Fiel
 

“Though the lord has closed the door for me to become a nun,
Somehow He opened a window!

For now, as a transplant patient, I still serve Him
For no other person can spiritually support another transplant patient
 Better than one who has climbed the mountains and forded the stream
And finally realized this was the reason for that unforgettable dream”

My name is Agnes Festejo Fiel, thirty-six years old, single, and native of Culaba, Biliran, Leyte. I graduated with a degree in animal science at the Visayas State College of Agriculture. I am former novice of the Franciscan Handmaids of the Lord in Palo, Leyte.

I had my kidney transplant on April 6, 2006. I am very happy with my new life. That is why I devote my time serving the Lord by encouraging other transplant patients not to lose hope in the midst of turbulence in their lives. I want to serve as an inspiration and as a living witness of God’s immeasurable love.

I always thought of myself as strong-willed. I was the girl who never knew how to cry nobody could beat emotionally. I thought my mind, heart and body were made of hard rock. In my college days, I was called “The Lady Physique”, being so energetic and physically fit. I mingled well with people. They did not know that beyond the exteriors was hollow vessel.

I was struck with extreme sadness and despair when my mother died on Christmas Day in 1990. My father passed away a year earlier.

Eight months later, I graduated from college and got a job as an animal health technician at the Department of Agriculture in Palompon, Leyte. In the three years of my stay there, I was blessed with opportunities and privileges.

It was during this time that I dreamt of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal urging me to follow her way. At the time I had no idea what the Blessed Virgin meant. I did not understand what she wanted from a simple lass like me. So I kept everything to myself. I began to prefer solitude most of the time. This change in behavior perplexed my co-workers.

I prayed intently for God’s wisdom and guidance on what I should do and what path I should take. Then it came to me. I resigned from my job. I turned back on my career and family, and joined the religious community in May 1999.

The religious formation had been and will always hold a special place in my heart. In the midst of structured routine inside, I was happy and contented. I left that I was precious in the eyes of the Lord. I have no regrets! Having been given the grace and privilege to live, work, and experience the religious life brought me to self-realization and acceptance of who I am as person.

In July 2000, I finished my postulancy and took my investiture. I became a “special member” of our congregation. I actively participated in the prayer and music ministry. I sang and played the guitar for the Lord.

As part of our exposure and religious formation, I was sent to Borongan, Samar. I can never forget that day. On the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, I suddenly felt pains at the back, exactly at the lumbar area. The fever that followed made my pains unbearable.

The following day, I was rushed to St. Paul’s Hospital where my uncle, Florentino Merin, was a doctor. He requested for a urine analysis and said the results showed I had UTI or urinary track infection. I was referred to a urologist, who, in turn directed me to a nephrologists. What seemed to be a simple UTI turned out to be a nightmare!

My serum creatinine, a kidney function marker, was elevated, according to Dr. Girlie Jao my nephrologists and also a good friend of mine. The “revelation bomb” was then released: I had chronic glomerulonephritis (CGN). My kidneys were malfunctioning.

Tears flowed and I was confused! Uttered downheartedly, “Lord, will this be a hindrance to my pledge?” I hated the thought of losing my vacation. My formator, who was then accompanying me, comforted me saying “Sister Agnes, have more faith in Him."

To my delight, my doctor just prescribed medications that she said would hopefully lower my creatinine values. Back at the formation house, I told my superior my intent desire to serve. I was willing to stay on as long as they would take me, and my worsening kidney condition. A deafening silence ensued. She said they would discuss my situation and arrive at a decision

That night, I cried like a solitary child searching for her lost mother, yearning for comfort and solace. But no one was there to do so. I wept and asked God why had to suffer. I felt I was not deserving of such pain. I kept asking why life was unfair, but still there was no answer.

In December 2001, I was summoned by the Council of Elders. We first prayed in our prayer room, after which they deliberated and gave me the “verdict”:”We regret to inform you that we are sending you back to your home so could very well attend to your medical condition, take care of yourself, and comply with your medications”.

I could feel the mounting resentment in my heart as my lips groped for the right words. I pleaded, “Sister, please do not send me home… please!”

I found myself asking: “My Lord, where are you? I need you now right here:” But I was all alone. I felt a looming darkness and raging clouds over me.

December 22, 2001 was my last day at the community. I felt I died when I left the gates of the formation house.

When I got home, I initially went back to my doctor for checkup. But after sometime I intentionally did not report to her anymore because I didn’t really care what happened to my life. After eight months I looked for a job to divert my attention away from my medical conditions. I worked in a farm as a poultry and piggery supervisor for almost two years. I was later transferred to a government institution and worked there for a year and a half.

On June 3, 2005, I felt a little odd. My blood pressure shot up and I felt heaviness and pain in the chest, prompting me to see my nephrologists. After a series of laboratory examinations, she told me that I had End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and had to undergo kidney transplantation.

Again, I felt devastated, but had to accept my fate even though it hurt so much. At first I did not tell anybody about my condition because I didn’t want them to worry. My sister later found out when she went with me to my nephrologists.

It was an expensive operation, and we needed to look for a kidney donor. Right then and there, my sister Bebie volunteered to give one of her kidneys to me. My doctor was amazed at her noble act.

Bebie was found to be a good potential donor. One day, her youngest son asked her, “What will happen to Nanny Agnes if you will not give her your kidney?” She replied, “Your Nanny Agnes will die if I will not give my kidney.” He then said, “Ma, just give your kidney to Nanny”. He even asked if he could also give his kidney to me. Bebie told her son he could not because he was still young.

In August 2006, my sister, her husband Roger, and I went to Manila for a pre-transplant workup. We attended the orientation and after knowing the concept of transplantation, my brother-in-law consented to let his wife be my donor.

While doing our workups at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), my condition worsened and I had to undergo dialysis. The original plan was for me to have a preemptive kidney transplant without undergoing dialysis. However, I already had uremia.

I started dialysis in October 2005. I felt weak and almost died on the first month of my dialysis because of some complications. One night, I told my Ate Daday that if I would go to sleep that night, I wish it would be the end of everything because of the unbearable pain my body was experiencing during dialysis. I asked God why I should go through all these.

Our pre-transplant workups with Dr. Yvette Mondano-Yap were completed on January 30, 2006. However, as the day of the transplant got nearer, I felt nervous and anxious. One day in March 2006, at four in the morning, I went to the Emergency Room of NKTI because of severe pain in my lumbar area and a high blood pressure. The nurses and doctors, who knew I was due for transplant, comforted me and told me not to worry.

After I left the Emergency Room later that morning, I examined my inner self and discovered that my spirit was still weak. I went to Fr. Junrey Ente, the chaplain of NKTI, and received the sacraments of reconciliation, communion, and anointing of holy oil. I also asked for spiritual support from my priest friends: Fr. Ega Gumba, Fr. Dennnis Molabola, and Fr. Ebert Concon. After such spiritual strengthening, I declared myself ready.

My operation was scheduled on April 6, 2006, my donor-sister’s birthday! It was a beautiful Thursday morning.

When I was admitted, I started to understand why I had to pass through that blow in my religious life. God prepared me to face this chapter in my life. I said, “Lord, you really love me in a very different and special way.” I still thank God even for the bitter moments in my life.

My sister was brought to the operating room first, after which I followed. I bled profusely intraoperatively and needed blood transfusion. Fr. Rennie Durante and my nephew, Paul, donated blood for me.

I was in critical condition. But because of the help and support of my family, I regained my strength and even gave my surgeon, who also got the jitters at the moment a thumbs-up! I stayed in the hospital for eighteen days but was readmitted two weeks later and was operated on again for a lymphocoele which had collected in my graft area.

On August 8, 2006, I had a bilateral breast mass excision. Again, I was scared because I have an aunt who died of breast cancer. Thank God, the result was benign.

My brother, Manoy Alex, helped me financially with my dialysis, laboratory workups, transplant, and monthly medicine expenses after the surgery. I also availed of medical assistance from the Philippine Charity and Sweepstakes Office and other charitable institutions.

Six months after my transplant, I became an active member of the Kidney Transplant Association of the Philippines (KITAP), especially in the liturgy activities. I truly enjoy serving the church and the people of God. I want to continue my vocation in the real world for my suffering brothers and sisters. I feel this is my MISSION. This is what God has been planning for me right from the very start.

After my transplant, though I had some complications, I feel normal as if nothing has happened. My graft is stable. My kidney is more than two years… young!

Now that I have been given a second chance to live, I feel how wonderful this life is! I savor each and every moment of my existence. The laughter and the tears, the joys and the sorrows I felt are all constant reminders of my journey. If not for these, I would not have realized the real essence of my existence. I enjoy each moment and make use whatever time I have to be able leave a lasting legacy behind. This life I now cherish would have not been possible without my loved ones who spent precious time with me during the darkest moment of my life. They are and will always be a part of me till the end of time.

For now, all I desire is to be an inspiration to every one by setting examples in a very simple way: by serving God through my fellowmen, especially my fellow kidney transplant patients. Now I am ready to welcome other opportunities in life for I know that God has prepared something more special for me.

To everyone who is experiencing trials, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual, just hold on to your hopes and to your faith. It is not too late to start a new beginning.

Being a kidney transplant survivor, I am aware that my life is not mine anymore. I thank God every time each day unfolds. Each morning is a new beginning and a wondrous miracle indeed! >>

"We would like to thank Dr Rose Marie Liquete for allowing us to post a part of her book “I Have Three Kidneys” published by InFORT (International Foundation for Organ Transplant Inc).  We also thank Ms Agnes Fiel for allowing her story to be shared."