One donor's story: Melissa Lopez Sanchez

  • Maple Grove
  • Organ
  • Living Donor: 2005

I am married for 11 years. I am bilingual in Spanish. I love to do all things crafty (knitting, sewing, cooking, jewelry making, decorating, etc.) I am not a religious person! I believe that as human beings it is our duty to help one another if we can. I am generally a reserved person and don’t like attention but I want to encourage others to become living donors.

Helping others when I can and respecting people and their differences. My family is important. Educating myself  on anything and everything I can so I can make informed decisions that are for the greater good. Making my best effort each day to be the best person I can, even if I sometimes fail. Never stop trying.

I did not know my recipient when I made the decision to donate. My husband is from a very small town in Mexico and he told me he knew a man from his hometown that found out he needed a transplant and that his family wouldn’t or couldn’t help him. He was a father of two at the time. Others from his hometown had gone to get tested to see if they qualified but even though one did, she decided not to. I told my husband, “Let’s go see if we qualify” and he agreed. My husband did not but I did, so I asked what’s next and they told me to schedule the surgery. So we did. I asked my recipient and my family not to tell anyone that I was the donor because I wanted it to be about helping someone and not being recognized for my actions. I gave him my kidney in February 2005. I remember his family was so sweet to me. They never left me alone. People I didn’t even know slept in the chair in my room at the hospital to make sure I was ok each night. I now have an extended family. His children, now 3, call me Auntie and he introduces me to others as his sister. It was the best decision I could have ever made and I would make it a thousand times more!

Melissa Lopez Sanchez