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|Lorena Rodriguez (left) with
her kidney recipient Monique
Lorena Rodriguez is no stranger to the challenges that kidney failure patients endure. She works at a medical office in San Diego that focuses on caring for people with kidney disease.
Through her work she has witnessed the bravery of patients facing grueling dialysis treatments and the desperation of waiting on the transplant list.
That experience prompted Rodriguez to call the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Center at Sharp Memorial Hospital and offer to be an altruistic kidney donor.
Rodriguez’s decision to donate a lifesaving kidney not only transformed the life of an extremely grateful patient, but also prompted her to dramatically improve her own health. Doctors told Rodriguez that she needed to lose weight before she could undergo surgery and she was determined to get in shape.
Over two years, she walked three miles every day after work and cut out junk food — including her beloved Cheetos and Saladitos Mexican treats — to lose more than 45 pounds, lower her blood pressure and qualify for kidney surgery. After a lot of hard work on the treadmill, and support from her coworkers who accompanied her on hikes around San Diego, Rodriguez underwent a successful surgery in February 2011.
Lorena (left) with her kidney recipient and new friend Monique and Monique's aunt, Ria, who donated a kidney in honor of her niece.
Rodriguez says she was thrilled to restore the quality of life to her organ recipient. She is also pleased to again indulge in her favorite snacks, now in moderation.
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's transplant services or to find a Sharp-affiliated physician, search for San Diego doctors or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about transplant, visit Transplantation in Adult Health or read the Transplant News archive or attend a Kidney Transplant 101 class.