Anthony G., Recipient, A High School Student Saved by His Brother

anthony_squareIt was fall 2011, and Anthony was entering his last year of high school. He was on the judo team which required daily practice, dieting, and traveling. Although he was getting better at judo, he couldn’t gain any weight or muscle. His body frame stayed the same and he was getting more fatigued at practice. There were also other physiological symptoms, such as frequent cramping at night, losing the ability to focus, and sleeping for long periods of time after school.

Soon after, he was admitted to the emergency room with a very high fever, severe stomach cramps and severely elevated blood pressure. He was very close to losing his life and was diagnosed with end stage renal failure, which was later confirmed to be caused by FSGS (focal segmental glomerulosclerosis).

Being a student athlete who had always avoided being in the hospital, the last thing Anthony expected was to have a debilitating disease. It was very challenging for him to return to school. He lost a lot of weight and became very weak, and it was difficult for him to concentrate. He even needed a cane to walk.

Anthony was placed at the top of the transplant wait list because of his age, but there was still a lot of uncertainty about what would happen or how long it would take to get a new kidney. His older sister Yenny and older brother Wilkis, who had a seven-year-old daughter and was awaiting the birth of his second child at the time, were both tested to be donors. They were both compatible, and Anthony received a kidney and a new life from Wilkis a few months later.

Thanks to this lifesaving gift, Anthony is living a normal life and working towards becoming a motivational speaker. He is particularly interested in sharing his story with teens that are going through similar experiences.

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