STRONG AS EVER: A POWERLIFTER'S KIDNEY TRANSPLANT JOURNEY

ST JOSEPH HEALTH | Ervin P. Ruzics
Tracie Marquez shares her experience of receiving a donor kidney, and life after a transplant
Tracie Marquez is a world record-setting powerlifter. But, until six months ago, this otherwise seemingly healthy and active Huntington Beach resident was on dialysis 18 hours a week due to polycystic kidney failure.

Tracie thought her life would change in July 2016, when after only two weeks of being placed on the kidney transplant list and three years on dialysis, she received a phone call from St. Joseph Hospital, Orange: there was a kidney available for her that was an identical match and, with kidney transplants, the better the match, the lower the risks of complications and rejection after transplant surgery.

But there was one problem – Tracie had a tooth infection, which meant she was disqualified to receive a transplant, and the kidney instead went to the next person on the transplant waiting list. She was devastated.

“I told my mom, ‘What if that was my one chance?’ I thought it might take years to get another opportunity like that,” says Tracie, 53, herself a mother of two grown children. Continue reading
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