Major: Integrated Business, Science, and Technology
Clubs: Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity
Before I was even born, the doctors were able to tell that something wasn’t right with my health. They were able to tell I had a form of dysplastic kidneys, which means my kidneys were underdeveloped. They told my parents that if I were to live, my life would be hard at best. But my parents loved me enough to push through and try to give me a good life.
When I was just about two-years-old I received my first kidney transplant from my Dad. All throughout my life I grew up going to hospital visits and getting routine check-ups without even knowing why. It was a part of my life so I didn’t know anything different. I lived a pretty regular life until it all changed.
Around Christmas 2016, I was at a friend’s house when I noticed my ankles were really swollen. Nothing like this had ever happened to me. After a few days of no improvement, I went to the ER and they told me my kidney was starting to fail. This was all over winter break my sophomore year here at La Salle. When I came back to school, I started dialysis three times a week in the clinic back home. I went back and forth from home to La Salle all semester so that I wouldn’t miss class or put my health at risk.
Once we started the transplant process again, my mom got tested and was a donor match. If everything had gone as planned, I would’ve had surgery in May and taken the whole summer to recover. But, throughout that waiting time I dealt with some illnesses that took a toll on me. Because of an antibody issue my mom was no longer a match when it came time for surgery. Instead of being disappointed that she couldn’t help me, my mom put her name in a swap pool which basically means that even though she couldn’t give to me she could be a possible match for someone else. That took me through the rest of the summer.
I went back to school and in around October I was notified that they had found a possible match. Around that same time, my mom got a phone call that they had found a match for her kidney as well. I got my second kidney transplant on November 1, 2017 and my mom donated her kidney to another person two and a half weeks later.
I’ve really enjoyed my time here at La Salle. Even though I missed just about a year between going for dialysis and my surgeries, I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything. I was a part of different things here and I was heavily involved with my fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi. I was on the executive board when we got re-chartered and brought back to campus. Seeing my name on the charter and realizing I was a part of something much bigger than I am was really cool. I’ve really cherished my time here.
I’ve always said I didn’t want my illness and situation define who I am. I want people to know that not only was I struggling with my health, but I was still involved on campus, going to class, and able to graduate in four years. I’m even graduating with honors. I just want people to know that even though it gets difficult and life comes at you, you can still persevere.
My biggest learning experience has been to never give up and always push forward. My mom has always stressed this to me from when I was a young kid. I’m so grateful for both my mom and my dad. After graduation, I have a job offer with the Gift of Life coordinating transplants, so it’s come full circle.