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UC Davis Transplant Center

UC Davis Transplant Center

Living Donor and Recipient Stories

The importance of an organ donation and the success of UC Davis Health System’s highly regarded transplant program can be seen through its many living donors and transplant recipients. Their stories help provide some unique insights into the transplantation process and what it means on a very personal level.

A Sister's Gift
Zandra Black found it difficult to even consider asking family members to think about undergoing major surgery in order to save her life. For Velvet Vasquez, there was never a question about donating a kidney. It was the right thing to do, especially after seeing how quickly her sister's health and vitality were restored.

Paired Exchange Links Many Lives
Thanks to an anonymous organ donor who started a four-way paired kidney exchange, Eduard Samuylik and Allan Klein now feel almost like family. Samuylik's wife gave a kidney to Klein's brother. Samuylik himself received a new kidney from the unknown altruistic donor, while Klein became a living donor on behalf of his brother to help link together the eight people in this life-sustaining, transplantation chain.

Helping Each Other
Sandra Luz Morales was willing to travel anywhere as a living donor to be part of a paired exchange that would enable her husband, Armando, to get a new kidney. As luck would have it, both of their surgeries took place at UC Davis Medical Center and they got to go home at the same time several days later. Of course, recuperating together can't be called another honeymoon. But in donating an organ to restore someone else's life, and in receiving a new organ to bring back good health, both of the Moraleses experienced a new joy in their lives.

Friends Well-Matched
Christine Renner and Carla Wright were college roommates and had remained close friends over the years. They happily discovered they still were very evenly matched when Renner needed a kidney transplant and Wright got tested and found that she was a compatible donor and a lifesaving friend.