Giving the Gift of a Better Life

Yasmeen Kahn is a senior custodial supervisor at UC Davis Student Housing and donated her right kidney to her husband in March. (Jason Spyres/UC Davis)
UC DAVIS | Jocelyn Anderson

Yasmeen Khan is a positive person. Even when her husband was experiencing renal failure and was put on the transplant list for a new kidney, her sunny disposition forced out any bad thoughts.

Instead, she focused on what she could do. The senior custodial supervisor at UC Davis Student Housing volunteered to be a living donor, got tested and found out she was a match. She gave him her right kidney in March.

The process was a long one. In fact, two different times, the surgery at the UC Davis Transplant Center was delayed for six months due to the need for more tests (to guarantee the patients are perfectly primed for surgery). The experience was enough to bring anyone down.

“I felt like, wow, everything is happening for a good reason,” Khan said. “There was no point when I was thinking negatively.”

Thanks to improved medications, a genetic link between the donor and recipient is no longer required to ensure a successful transplant. Now, in order to match, a donor and recipient need compatible blood types and the absence of strong antibodies against the genes of the donor. Continue reading
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