On October 23, Mercy Health honored dozens of heroes at the annual Living Donor Celebration. More than 50 kidney donors and recipients took part in the celebration with food, raffle prizes, complimentary massages and a toast with sparkling grape juice. The donors received a kidney-shaped metal honoring their selfless gift.
Altruistic donor C.J. Nachtegall was inspired to make a difference in someone’s life after having to cope with the loss of a friend. Last December, he found a way to make an impact by donating his kidney to someone in need.
Esmeralda Aguilar decided to donate to save her brother’s life. Her brother Rudy Santiago needed a kidney and was prepared to wait until a match was found. Aguilar decided to make the process faster, so Aguilar underwent the surgery to give Rudy her kidney.
“I didn’t think twice about it,” Aguilar said, “But now I see that because of the donation his kids have their dad, his wife has her husband and his grandchild has his grandpa.”
If you would like to learn more about kidney donation, please visit www.mercyhealthsaintmarys.com/kidney-transplants.