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Living Kidney Donors Recognized at Special Ceremony

Celebrating the gift of life and the importance of organ donation was the focus of a special ceremony Thursday night.

Thirty-four San Diegans were honored by Sharp Memorial Hospital for donating their kidneys in 2017.

In many instances, the donors didn’t even know the person on the receiving end.

Olivia Sanitllan and her daughter Carolina Aceves have always had a special bond.

It grew even stronger when a couple of years ago Sanitllan was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease that targeted her kidney.

Aceves and her siblings were tested. Unfortunately, they weren’t a match.

There was, however, still another option.

Aceves joined the living donor registry in honor of her mom.

“Thankfully she was able to get a kidney. And in turn, I donated my kidney to somebody else in the registry,” said Aceves.

Since Aceves donated, it significantly helped Sanitllan get a new kidney faster.

It only took about a month and a half to find a special match all the way from Wisconsin.

“About a month after the donation, we got a letter stating that it was a mother donating in advance for her child, which was so beautiful. It was a little boy,” Aceves explained.

There are a lot of benefits of living donation.

The long-term survival rates for patients are significantly higher when they receive a transplant from a living donor.

Also, living kidneys usually start working immediately.

Nationwide, almost 100,000 people are waiting for a new kidney.

Source: NBC San Diego

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