Teresa was in her late 30s when she received the diagnosis for the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy that had taken the life of her brother. Thanks to the cardiology team at Cedars-Sinai and a donor named Jennie, Teresa lives a life of active gratitude.
Maria’s kidney transplant freed her from years of dialysis and makes it possible for her to serve the community who supported her for so many years.
Maria's life was a calm one, spent working and enjoying time with her family. She was also a healthy person until little by little her life changed when her kidneys began to fail.
Maria received hemodialysis at a center for five and a half years. During this time, she was able to meet people from the Latino community and was able to create bonds of friendship with so many others who were going through the same experience she was.
One of the experiences that marked her the most was realizing that there were not as many resources or information in her language. There was little support for multicultural communities, and she realized that the options for Latinos to receive transplants were very limited.
In the two and a half year period that she was on the waiting list, she received support from many people, especially her immediate family, her nephrologist, and the congregation where she attends church.
Maria received a kidney transplant in 2015, and her health has continuously improved. She appreciates that since she received the kidney, she no longer has to be connected to a machine or feel those cramps throughout her body that bothered her so much.
After receiving the gift of life, she can travel, cook for her family, play with her two beautiful granddaughters, and work for the cleaning company that she runs together with her family.
She is eternally grateful to her donor's family for giving her a second chance at LIFE. She is constantly appreciative of the generosity of her donor’s family and now she feels that they are a part of her life.
The life lessons she learned made her join and be part of the Done Vida Noroeste volunteer group. She and the rest of this group of volunteers support the Latino Community by sharing their stories, sharing ways in which they were able to advocate for themselves, and above all, educating the Latino community on how can they also give the gift of life.