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Donor Story

William and Andrisan's Living Donor Story

William Gonzalez, 58 | Lancaster, PA / Recipient

Kidney disease runs in our family. My mother was on dialysis for 26 years, and my older brother was in kidney failure before I needed dialysis.

At first, I hated dialysis. Tuesday would roll around, and I’d tell my wife, Carmen, that I wasn’t going. But as I realized that’s what was keeping me alive, I started thanking God for dialysis and all the people who worked there. That changed everything, and I started looking forward to my treatments. 

We thought I’d be on the transplant list about three years, but it took seven. Every time I heard they might have a kidney for me, I would pray that if someone needed it more than me, God would let them have it.

My beautiful nephew Andrisan is one of 11 people who triedto donate for me. When he told me he was the one, I prayed for him. I received his kidney on April 19, 2016. 

The people at PinnacleHealth became like family. They are wonderful, and to this day I can call them and get a quick response. What I’m most enjoying now is traveling with my wife who has been by my side through treatments and surgery. We’ve visited our son in Wisconsin, spent time in Florida and hope to see family in Puerto Rico soon, too.

Andrisan Gonzalez, 31 | Lancaster, PA / Donor

I didn’t appreciate how hard kidney disease is until I was in my twenties and saw my uncles going through it. They were always strong and independent before their kidneys failed, and it changed them.

Because polycystic kidney disease runs in our family, I had to wait until I was 30 to be a donor. PinnacleHealth was really great as I went through nearly 10 months of testing. We appreciated how cautious they were, and my wife had a lot of questions that they were happy to answer. The same was true for the procedure--everything was top of the line.

Even though I have a physically demanding job, I was able to get back to it within two months, which was nice.

This is something I had no doubt I wanted to do, and I think that’s key for a donor. This has definitely lifted my uncle’s sprits and that’s been great to see.


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