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I am deeply grateful to

Share my story

with you about my kidney disease...

I have a chance to live a full life if I get a live donor donation today. 

I hope you will consider donating a kidney to save my life.

Thank you for visiting my website.  I am deeply grateful to share my story with you about my kidney disease.  I have a chance to live a full life if I get a Living Donor donation today.  I hope you will consider donating a kidney to save my life.

Antonia with daughter_edited.jpg

I have developed a disease called Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). It is the same disease that unfortunately, my Mother died from. PKD has caused clusters of cysts to grow in my kidneys. My kidneys have also enlarged over time and are close to losing their function. So at this time, without functioning kidneys, my life expectancy is severely shortened. Though I do dialysis daily, it is not a long-term solution.  I am on the kidney transplant waiting list for a deceased donor kidney along with 100,000+ people. Time is not on our side. Finding a kidney for a transplant is not easy. Some wait for years; many die while waiting. The average wait time is eight years or more for a kidney from a deceased donor. There is another option: receiving a kidney from a living donor.

Over time, my kidney disease has gotten worse causing my kidneys not to work well enough to keep me alive. This is what I am facing now, and my treatment options are limited to dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant. I am currently receiving regular dialysis treatments, seven days a week for 10 hours at a time. This is only for so long. What I really need is a kidney transplant. A new kidney would offer me the ability to live a longer, healthier, and normal life.

A transplant would offer me more of a life without dialysis and to live longer. A transplant would also give me more time to do the fun things I enjoy most, like spending time with my beautiful daughter, my family, and my friends.

Today I am asking a family member, a friend, or anyone who may consider donating a kidney.

This is hard for me to do, but it greatly improves my chances of getting a transplant.

You might not know a lot about living donation – I know I didn’t before kidney disease affected my life. I learned that a living kidney donation typically lasts years longer and has better function.  Understandably, some people are afraid about the surgery and what living with one kidney will mean for them.

Here’s some basic information about kidney donation:

  • You only need one kidney to live a healthy, long life.

  • You do not have to be a match with me to be a donor. There is now a program called Paired Kidney Exchange where if you are not a match and you donate to me, your kidney would go to someone that was a match and then I would get a kidney from the Exchange that was a match for me. This would all be done within a week or two of your Living Donation.

  • Most donor surgery is done laparoscopic-ally, meaning through tiny incisions.

  • The recuperation period is usually fairly quick, generally two weeks.

  • The cost of your evaluation and surgery will be covered by my insurance. The hospital can give you extensive information on this.

  • You will have a separate team of healthcare professionals to evaluate you as a living donor. Their job is to help you understand the risks and benefits and look out for YOUR best interests.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If donating a kidney to me is something you would like to consider, I would be happy to tell you more about my story and explore the process of determining if you could be a Living Donor for me.

I know living donation may not be right for everyone — but you can still help by considering being an organ donor after death.  Now that you are here, please read through my website and share my story with everyone you know. At the very least, I want to bring awareness to kidney disease and living donation. I am hopeful I will receive a kidney soon as I continue to encourage others to consider helping the many people on the wait list. There’s no better gift than the gift of life.

Thank you,

Antonio Santiago


“The idea is not to live forever…

But maybe to help another live a little longer…”

- Unknown

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