Chula Vista woman starts kidney donation chain in motion - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Chula Vista woman starts kidney donation chain in motion

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By News 8 Reporter Jeff Zevely

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A Chula Vista woman's decision to donate a life-saving kidney to someone she doesn't even know set a kidney donor chain in motion that stretches across the country.

News 8 went to Sharp Memorial Hospital to meet several members of this heart warming circle of giving.

It takes a special person to set a kidney donor chain in motion and that special person is Lorena Rodriguez.

"If I'm healthy and I could help somebody else, you know, why not?" Rodriguez said.

Before Lorena could donate her kidney to a stranger, doctors told her she had to lose weight. So about a year ago, she started walking and lost 50 pounds by laying off her favorite snack, Cheetos, with all of the will power she could muster.

"A lot of discipline but I was dedicated," she said.

One of Lorena's walking partners is her co-worker Dee Kline. They work at a kidney dialysis center.

"I believe that she saw the suffering of thousands of patients walking through the offices of Balboa Nephrology over 19 years and knew she could do something for somebody," Dee said.

That somebody is no longer a stranger to Lorena, it's 44-year old Monique McCray.

"I love her to death," McCray said.

Monique is the mother of a two-year-old girl and she needed a new kidney to live long and raise her daughter. The organ could have come from anywhere, but it turns out Lorena and Monique both live in the South Bay only a few miles apart.

In order for Monique to receive Lorena's kidney, one of her loved ones needed to donate an organ. So her aunt, Ria Curtis, volunteered.

"Because it's family and it's automatic I didn't have a second thought, " Ria said.

Ria's kidney went to a stranger who lives in New York, which is where Ria grew up. Her kidney went home.

"It's a good feeling. It's a good feeling," said Curtis.

A feeling that all started with Lorena's selfless act.

The two donors, Lorena and Ria, went home from the hospital Friday. Monique is expected to get discharged on Monday. Doctors say everything is looking good.







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