For the media

Finding a kidney donor through TikTok (video)

By The Health News Team | April 15, 2022

While being in your 20s may evoke images of a fun and carefree time, this wasn’t exactly the case for Rubi Duran. At 23 years old, Rubi began dialysis due to kidney failure.

Soon, Rubi learned that she needed a kidney transplant. After determining her family members could not safely donate a kidney to her, Rubi turned to a popular social media platform for help: TikTok. She uploaded videos of herself that showed her journey with dialysis and the need for an organ donor.

Rubi received lots of support from her numerous followers, including Sandra Leon, who decided to donate her kidney. After Sandra got tested and confirmed that she was a match, Dr. Marquis Hart, a board-certified transplant surgeon affiliated with Sharp Memorial Hospital, performed Rubi’s kidney transplant.

Today, both Rubi and Sandra are healthy and well, and the two have become friends through this experience. Rubi says she is extremely grateful for her Sharp care team and Sandra’s generosity.

“The nurses were super sweet, and the doctors were very helpful,” says Rubi. “And Sandra taught me that there are beautiful people in the world with big hearts.”

For the news media: To talk with Dr. Hart about this story or living kidney donation, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at

Watch the video above to see Rubi’s kidney transplant journey, learn more about becoming a living kidney donor or register as an organ donor with Donate Life America. You can also register as an organ donor when you apply for or renew your driver’s license or ID card.

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