Green Leaves

KATS

I am a living donor and this is my story.  I am a prayer intercessor at my church on Maui and received an email from an affiliate church requesting prayer for a woman named Suzy who lives in California.  Upon reading the email, I felt as though God put it on my heart to donate my kidney. So I immediately prayed about it and put my name onto Suzy’s donor list.  The entire process took about a year and a half and we went through with our transplant in April 2012.  It was a success.  Going through the process of transplantation and healing for both myself and my recipient, I felt there was a need for helping others going through the transplant process. I then brought the Oahu organization  H.O.T. to Maui.  Through this organization and help with others going through the same process- we hope to bring hope to those that will go through with transplantation.  Then about 5 years ago, our existing H.O.T Organization decided to start our own non-profit organization that was open to helping all types of organ transplants.  We formed our own 501©(3) organization called Organ Transplant Maui (O.T.M).

LIANNE

I am a kidney recipient.  I was diagnosed with Lupus in my early twenties which affected my kidneys and eyesight.  Eventually, my nephrologist told me I had to start dialysis and my whole life changed from then on.  I chose to do peritoneal dialysis (PD). As days and months passed, it seemed endless with doctor appointments, blood tests and medications.  I kept asking myself what did I do to deserve this.  Fortunately, in September 1997 I had a kidney transplant.  Now my path to recovery was a different one.  It was all worth it.  This was a new beginning for me in life.  Now it’s my turn to give something back and this is part of my new beginning.  Let our Organ Transplant Maui support team be there for you.

MICHELLE

I am a living donor and a wife of a living donor.  My husband, Ron, gave his spare kidney to his brother in 2013.  While Ron was going through the tests before the donation, I had many worries about whether his health and our life together would suffer.  After the donation was all done. I saw how easy the process was and how healthy they both were!  I started looking for someone to give my spare kidney to and heard that an old friend had recently started dialysis.  I learned that helping someone have even one day off dialysis was a treasured gift.  If I had another spare kidney, I would gladly give it away!  If you have any concerns as a potential donor or as a spouse, please do not hesitate to contact me at Organ Transplant Maui.

JAMES

I am a liver transplant recipient.  My journey began in 2003 when I was diagnosed as having the Hepatitis C virus.  I was in a bad traffic accident and had a number of blood transfusions.  Unfortunately, the blood supply at the time wasn’t tested for Hepatitis C and the virus was passed on to me.  Finally, in 2009, I was sent to UCSF Hospital in San Francisco for a transplant evaluation. On the night of October 28, the phone in my hospital room rang and it was the transplant doctor who said a liver had been found and they would operate on me that evening.  A huge wave of relief rushed through me, knowing that the helplessness and pain would soon be over.  That was over  5 years ago.  I am doing well and my life has become my own again.  There is so much a patient needs to know and a group like O.T.M. would’ve made things a lot easier for me.  If I had been able to talk with others who had been through the experience, it would’ve helped me a great deal.

RON

I’m a living donor and just want to share a little bit about myself.  My brother was on dialysis for about 6 years.  I never saw myself as a donor until I saw how his lifestyle on dialysis was.  I prayed and made a decision.  On May 10, 2013, I gave my kidney to my brother.  I never knew that giving an organ away is the best gift you can give another.  My Mission now is to support OTM (Organ Transplant Maui) by sharing my story with those who have questions about how it is to be a Living Donor.  Mahalo Nui Loa and God bless you.

ESTHER

My husband Nolan was a kidney recipient. Due to diabetes, his life was full of health complications which we faced from head to toe.  For over 40 years, he had survived dialysis, a kidney transplant, pneumonia, vascular leg surgery, eye surgery, amputations, a heart attack, 5 stents for artery blockage, and many more life-threatening events.  Being a caregiver to my best friend was not only to help him with his medical condition but to always be there for love, support and encouragement to live life to its fullest.  After 3 ½ years on dialysis and starting in the 300ths on the waiting list, we were blessed to have a kidney donated from a young woman who died in a car accident.  His life was full of bumps in the road because of all the complications diabetes brought.  Our family was fortunate to have him survive an extra 16 years to see all 3 of our daughters grow up, graduate from college, have successful careers and their own family and home.

All during that time, we did not have anyone to speak to about the disease, complications, medical prescriptions, financial matters, or talk to someone who had gone through what we were facing.  Nolan’s strong wish to help others in his last years made a tremendous difference in his attitude on life.  He had wanted to be there for anyone who was going through what he had faced and that he had lived to tell them it will be okay when you make informed decisions.  His hope for the future was a cure for diabetes and kidney disease and increased awareness of organ donation.  With this goal of one man, he was one of the guiding founders of the Organ Transplant Maui.  Nolan Passed away on 7/11/15 and did not live to be there at our first meeting in 2016 but his spirit will always be with us, guiding our support group…and with Nolan there beside me, I am continuing his wish and carry on his legacy to share our story to help others.

NOLAN

I am a kidney recipient.  I  became a member of the Hawaii Organ Transplant Support Group here in Maui because I felt a need to help and support people who have gone through or who are going through the process of  End State Renal Disease (ESRD).  I have been a diabetic since 1975 and was on dialysis for 4 years.  I may not be medically trained but I’ve lived through various medical procedures and operations.  I had issues with my eyes, vascular system, including amputations, and yes even a heart attack.  Educating yourself is an important part of the process.  I believe the more you know, the better your care and that you are your best advocate along with your health team.  My hopes for the future would be a cure for diabetes and kidney disease and increase the awareness of organ donations.

TODD AND TARA

Todd is a liver recipient and Tara is a living liver donor.  Back in 2014, 3 months before getting married, Todd was diagnosed with Stage 3 liver cancer which was a result of having primary sclerosing cholangitis for 25 years.  We were initially not given much hope and given a poor diagnosis.  After seeking second opinions and having a procedure with was ruled out by the oncologist team, to stop the blood supply to the tumor, Todd was approved for a live donor transplant in August of 2014.  For the next 10 months, many of our friends and family members were tested to see if they were a match and unfortunately no one was a match.  It was then time for Tara to be tested and after 2 full days of testing, it was confirmed she was a match.  On May 26, 2015, we had the surgery and it was a success.  A year and a half after the surgery we made the decision to move to Maui.  Life is precious and through all of this, we decided it was time to live life and enjoy every bit of it.  We found the support group, Organ Transplant Maui shortly after moving to Maui and have enjoyed meeting everyone, sharing and hearing their stories.  We want to support anyone going through a transplant, treatment, or any other trying times.  We want to support those thinking of becoming a donor as well as those needing hope.  It is through our faith that we have hope and this is what continues to help us through the trying times.