Our Stories

Below are just a few stories about people like you who have been touched by the saving gift of organ donation.

Daniel Monroig
Kidney Recipient

Daniel’s life changed completely in 2003 when chronic kidney failure was diagnosed. This affected his entire life as he had to abandon his career as a police officer. After three years on dialysis treatment, on December 28, 2007, he received the gift of life, he received a kidney transplant.  After his transplant his biggest dream was to be able to be of inspiration to others and demonstrate to people that it was possible to receive a second chance. He was so motivated that enrolled in nursing school to be a nurse. He now works as a hemodialysis nurse, a career that gives him the opportunity to share his testimony while taking care of patients every day, those who wait for the gift of life.

George Rosario
Kidney Recipient

Chronic high blood pressure affected George’s kidneys, which led to dialysis and a spot on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. George received his second chance at life in 2005 and since then has worked to promote and educate the community on the importance of organ and tissue donation as a volunteer for LifeLink of Puerto Rico. He went back to college and completed a degree in social work and is now in the process of earning a master’s degree. He shares his life with his wonderful wife and is always willing to share his testimony. He always says, “I live because of my donor and my donor lives in me”.

Wanda Negrón
Liver Recipient

Wanda has been always a very faithful woman, dedicated to her family and to her professional work as an agronomist, implementing technology and science to produce food, fuel, fiber, and land reclamation. When her liver failed and she knew a liver transplant was imminent, her faith and optimism kept her positive and strong. Since receiving her transplant, Wanda has been a dedicated volunteer for LifeLink of Puerto Rico for more than 15 years. She is also the President and co-founder of the Hepatic Patients Support Foundation in Puerto Rico. Wanda recently became a grandmother and spends time with her family because of the life-saving gift she received. “I am thankful for my gift, and every single day I think about my donor and all the incredible things I can enjoy,” says Wanda.

Esquilín-Carraquillo Family
Donor Family

The Esquilín-Carrasquillo family remembers Eddie as a young vibrant, happy, and full of life man. Eddie, whose nickname was “Feo” was always smiling and loved his family dearly and was always looking for opportunities to help them feel loved. On March 4, 2013, he had an accident while riding a four-wheel ATV and lost his life. His family faced the most terrible experience but still decided that he would be a donor and help save others. Previously, in March 2010, his cousin had a kidney transplant after been on dialysis, and was able to be there when his daughter, Alaiyah Shannel, was born. Knowing this Eddie’s family did not hesitate to authorize the donation process. Eddie is remembered as a missionary who is spreading love everywhere. Today six people live through the miracle of donation. His mother Brenda and his grandpa Carmelo firmly believe they made the correct decision because of the peace they live with.

Reinaldo Adarich
Kidney Recipient

Rey had a beautiful life. He was dedicated to raising his children and working hard to support his family. He suffered from diabetes, but never thought it might be life-threatening. Then, he found out he was in renal failure and had to begin dialysis. Rey attributed keeping his faith and hope intact through his trust in God. In October 2004 he received his second chance when he received his long-waited miracle, a kidney transplant. In the years since, Rey has rarely been sick and experienced no complications. He is grateful to be enjoying his family, working in his garden, listening to music, and spreading information about the importance of organ and tissue donation. Rey says, “We need to return all that we have been blessed with.”

Pedro Ramos
Liver Recipient

Pedro worked all his life in the pharmaceutical field. One day he began to feel sick and ended up with cirrhosis diagnosis. Living in Puerto Rico where there were no liver transplant programs at the time, he needed to travel to Tampa to be evaluated and listed for a transplant. He was transplanted on July 28, 2000. Fourteenth years later he is still enjoying his renewed life and serves as a volunteer for LifeLink of Puerto Rico. He also dedicated some of his time to supporting other patients in need of a transplant. Patients that were facing this diagnosis for the first time and were insecure or lost in the process. Moreover, were very scared. He was a helping hand and a support. The story has changed, the island counts now with a liver transplant program, but this has not changed Pedro’s desire to help, he continues to visit patients and tell his story at Medicine schools to help educate future doctors.

Ronald Kenyatta
Kidney Recipient

Ron was living his dream working in professional baseball, when one day he awoke to his left leg extremely swollen, almost as if it belonged to someone else. Medical attention brought a diagnosis of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a disease which causes scarring in the kidneys, which are the body’s natural filter. Ron managed his condition and continued working until his symptoms indicated the need to begin dialysis and prepare for a kidney transplant. Ron posted on Facebook on the chance someone would be interested in becoming his living kidney donor and with the power of social media, several people responded. One person, a long-time friend, turned out to be a perfect match and gave Ron a second chance at life through a kidney transplant. Since his transplant, Ron is an active practitioner of martial arts and will soon test for his brown belt. His transplant experience and study of martial arts has given him the calm and confidence to tell his story to encourage others. Now that he’s on the other side of his transplant, Ron says, “I feel more grounded and it’s easy to be thankful every day.

Candice Stephens
Kidney/Pancreas Recipient

Candice was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age seven and she managed her disease well throughout her adolescence. In college, however, Candice’s health drastically declined. Candace still managed to graduate, moved to her hometown, started her career, and married the love of her life. In 2015, doctors informed Candace that her kidney function dropped to 30% and the following year it functioned at only 15%. She needed dialysis and a kidney transplant. Several relatives stepped up as potential living donors, but it was Candace’s husband, Gibran, who was the perfect match. In early December 2016, Candice and her husband went into surgery and recovered together during the Christmas holiday. Three weeks post-transplant, Candice was back at work with the promise she would do everything possible to take care of her gifted kidney. Her health was improved further with a pancreas transplant which resolved her lifelong battle with diabetes.“I’m the best I’ve ever been, and I have so much joy, excitement, and hope.

Kathy Bryant
Heart Recipient

Kathy, only twenty-eight at the time, felt ill with what she thought was a stomach flu.  Symptoms persisted longer than expected and medical tests revealed a virus had indeed invaded Kathy’s body and attacked her heart. Kathy was in congestive heart failure and immediately started a regimen of medication and lifestyle changes to mitigate her symptoms. Unfortunately, Kathy’s condition worsened she was hospitalized, where she remained until she received the gift of a heart transplant.  Now, Kathy enjoys swimming or walking long distances, things she struggled to do before her transplant because of her extreme fatigue. In July 2022, Kathy even graduated college. She is grateful to her donor, who has provided quality time with her family. Whenever she can, Kathy shares her story to educate others, especially multicultural communities, about the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation.

Jarvis Wright Family
Donor Family

According to Jarvis’ sister, Jamia, she always knew he was special. He was tall, charming, and loved to play sports and video games. Jarvis preferred to work with his hands and after a quick stint at Tallahassee Community College realized he had career aspirations in a different direction. Jarvis was studying for his commercial driver license to help support his young son, at the time of his death in an unfortunate accident. Jarvis’s family was approached about organ and tissue donation and without hesitation, they said yes, hoping he could save and heal others. Jamia has met Jarvis’s heart and kidney/pancreas recipients. Jamia states that her brother’s recipients “don’t look like me, but I love them,” and she considers them her new, blended, family, which has helped her with her healing. Although she misses Jarvis dearly, Jamia knows he had a purpose, and his becoming a donor has helped Jamia channel her grief and heal. Jarvis’s son, now 15, is a mirror image of his father and acts just like him.

Ananya Anumukonda
Heart Recipient

Ananya was a typical, friendly six-year-old little girl, who suddenly began feeling unwell and nauseous. When her symptoms didn’t subside quickly her mom, Swarna, knew something was wrong. She took Ananya to her pediatrician who immediately sent them to the hospital. Ananya was diagnosed with severe cardiomyopathy, which is an enlarged heart, and her heart function continued to decline. She was transferred to a hospital equipped to provide her with specialized care, including implantation of an LVAD, or left ventricle assist device, and she was placed on the heart transplant waiting list. Three weeks later Ananya received her lifesaving heart transplant. She enjoys painting and making bracelets, and during her recovery in the ICU she fully decorated her room with pictures. She looks forward to going to Magic Kingdom for the first time to meet Elsa and Minnie Mouse once doctors clear her to travel. Swarna is thankful for the support and encouragement of hospital staff, as well as the generosity of a donor and their family, and is happy to see her daughter continue to recover.

Audrey Bella Langston
Kidney Recipient

Audrey, a newly minted police officer with the Chicago Police Department who had a baby and young teenage son at home, was on a weekend birthday trip with friends when she began experiencing a terrible headache, nausea, frequent urination, and a general lethargic feeling. She cut her trip short but on the way home, Audrey’s symptoms became alarmingly worse when she lost her ability to see. Although her blindness was temporary, doctors eventually diagnosed Audrey with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a condition that causes kidney damage. Audrey, who as a police officer kept herself in incredible shape through exercise and healthy eating, was shocked by her diagnosis. At the recommendation of doctors, Audrey implemented further lifestyle adjustments to manage her disease and was able to remain an active-duty police officer until eventually she began dialysis and was placed on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. After several potential donor opportunities fell through, Audrey’s godson, Roger, declared he wanted to become a living kidney donor and on March 4, 2005, during her birthday weekend, Audrey received her gift of life. Audrey returned to active duty for the Chicago Police Department where she served a total of 21 years until her retirement in 2014. Audrey says “Since my transplant, my greatest joy has been the things I’ve done in my volunteering. I now pay it forward to others who may not have a great support system; my volunteer work has healed me.” Audrey serves as a LifeLink volunteer, the co-chair of the Tampa General Hospital Transplant Patient Family Advocacy Council and hosts a podcast, Bella’s Hope for Healing, to bring awareness to kidney disease as well as other important topics like mental health.