I am the first hemophiliac double transplant recipient in the world. It’s pretty cool bragging rights if you ask me.
When I born I broke my moms tailbone, and I had a brain bleed. If I hadn’t stayed the night in the hospital for observation I wouldn’t of been here today. That’s when they discovered I had Hemophilia. That’s how my life got started. 😉 As a kid I spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital due to my hemophilia from the joint bleeds. My motto was and still is today: Hemophilia doesn’t define me. I define what Hemophilia is. I know my attitude is how I’ve gotten this far. Yes there were harder days, and I got discouraged sometimes, but I kept pushing. In 2004, I was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy. I lived with a sick heart for 10 years. In order to be listed for a heart transplant, I lost 250 pounds. I received my gift of a “perfect new heart” on May 9, 2016 at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. But even then, my fight was just beginning, and soon I waited again for a kidney transplant.
I went into kidney failure because of the induction meds post-heart transplant. I did nocturnal Hemodialysis 3X/week for 9 months. I still tried to enjoy life while on dialysis. It was hard, but I did what I could do. I began the search for a living kidney donor, which I found in September 2017 – she needed being my sister-in-law’s step sister-in-law… (Flow chart that one.) 😉
Thanks to my beautiful donor, Alicia, She shared her “spare” kidney me on October 31, 2017. I can know pee again thanks to her. She is my angel on earth. Now I’m more able to focus on spending time with my family and friends. I’m moving forward toward my dream of opening a heart-healthy food truck. And, as always, I continue to honor my donors by devoting myself towards volunteering in the Hemophilia community as well as Donate Life Northwest!