Ahwatukee boy’s life changed after successful liver transplant

Ahwatukee Foothills News | Allison Hurtado

Jake Peña, 7, plays with his brother Javi, 9, in their Ahwatukee home on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. When Jake was two-years-old he and his family were forced to move from Ahwatukee to Colorado where their insurance would pay for a liver transplant.

2 years old Jake Peña was fighting for his life, in desperate need of a liver transplant that he could not get in Arizona. One big move and five years later the Pena family is back in Ahwatukee Foothills, close to family and friends, and now with a new appreciation for organ donation.

“Before my son was sick I never really thought about it,” said Stephanie Peña, Jake’s mom. “I always heard about donating organs, but never thought much about it until of course it happens to you.”

It did happen to Stephanie. Her youngest child, the third boy in the family, was sick right from the beginning. He was delayed in all his milestones, jaundiced, and his skin was constantly itchy. Continue reading