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Donor Story

Catarino's Living Donor Story

Catarino Martinez, 73 | Plymouth, PA / Recipient

There is no kinder or more generous act of love than donating a part of yourself to someone else. Whether you know the recipient or not, a kidney is a priceless gift that enriches lives. When I received my kidney six years ago, my hopes and prayers were answered. My quality of life is back, and I feel blessed and happy that my days are my own to do with as I wish.

I was diagnosed with diabetes in my thirties. That led to vision problems, weight gain and eventually kidney failure. With insulin I was able to hold off dialysis until I was 64. Then it was three years of dialysis three days a week. It felt like all of my days were spent on dialysis.

My doctor recommended PinnacleHealth for my transplant and working with that team was the experience of a lifetime. They saved my life and gave me a second chance. The entire team was absolutely fantastic. I knew having a transplant was going to be a long journey with unforeseen circumstances, but Dr. Yang inspired so much confidence and gave me hope. My care was outstanding.

My worst fear was that my body would reject the kidney. We did have some minor problems at first, but when they cleared up, I began feeling stronger and much better. I thank God for my donor. Because of one final act of generosity I can do the things I enjoy like gardening, taking long walks, cooking on my grill, and traveling with my family.

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