Healthy Kids Summer 2022


getting all the bags every night, having to set up the machine, connect and go to bed early and just be in my room.” A (Half) Perfect Match Familial relation isn’t the deciding factor in determining whether a potential donor and recipient will be compatible, explains Elizabeth Ingulli, MD, a pediatric kidney transplant specialist and medical director of the Kidney Transplant Program at Rady Children’s. Potential

donors are put through a rigorous battery of tests to determine whether they are healthy enough to donate a kidney; donors cannot have a chronic condition such as high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes; donors and recipients must have the same or universal blood types; and certain proteins called antigens that can trigger an immune response and possible organ rejection cannot be present on the donor’s cells. “If you’ve gotten blood transfusions, gotten an organ

Eventually, doctors told him and his parents that he would need a transplant. Naturally his family was concerned—he’s the youngest of seven siblings—and his closest sibling, 24-year-old Laura, didn’t hesitate to volunteer to donate one of her kidneys. “As soon as she heard that, she told my parents, ‘I’ll donate if I can,’ and she started the process,” Cesar says. “I honestly never thought she would want to. She told me she didn’t like seeing me


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