What it is Like to Receive a Life Saving Transplant From Your Teenage Niece


Veronica Cosme, 44, of Placentia got the gift of life from her teenage niece Alyssa Galvan

I got my driver’s license 20 years ago and when I was asked whether I wanted to list myself as an organ donor, I immediately said no. You don’t want to think of your death. Little did I know that at that moment my kidneys were failing.

In 2001, a biopsy found that I had Alport’s Syndrome, a deterioration of the tiny blood vessels of the kidney. It was hereditary: My dad’s sister died from kidney disease at 18. Years down the road, I would need a kidney transplant.

Still, I didn’t worry. That was far away. I was only at Stage 1 with 80- to 90-percent kidney function. You need to be below 20 percent to get on the national registry. For a decade, I took four or five pills a day and kept running.

But in late 2012, things suddenly went south. I picked up the stomach flu from my grandmother and got very ill. My kidney function had plunged to nearly 20 percent. My doctor told me, “Veronica, it’s time. You need to educate yourself on kidney transplants.” Continue reading