Rady Children's hosts transplant reunion party - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Rady Children's hosts transplant reunion party

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A special reunion Sunday between hospital staff and patients a Rady Children's Hospital.

Young patients who received kidney and liver transplants gathered to celebrate the holidays with the medical staff who saved their lives.

Noah Martinez had something amazing to be thankful for this past Thanksgiving. That's the day he finally got a new kidney.

Noah has had kidney failure since shortly after birth but now his future looks fantastic. And Sunday he celebrated his successful surgery with dozens of other kids who have benefited from transplant surgery -- including Brenden Findahl -- who before getting his kidney May 7th felt sick every day and tired but not anymore.

"Oh, I was so happy to receive my kidney - I feel so much better - I feel more energized, I can do more things now - it's so much better," he said. 

This is Rady Children's Hospital's 12th annual transplant reunion. Since 2001, they have performed 122 kidney transplants and 45 liver transplants.

"It's wonderful to see the kids and it's a great opportunity for the kids to talk with each other and to share stories and help each other and support each other during this period of time," Dr. Elizabeth Ingulli said. 

Kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood a day to get rid of waste and extra water, which become urine. If the kidneys did not remove them they would build up in the blood and damage the body.

Kidney transplants can come from both living and deceased donors so - from these kids here - a plea to please become an organ donor.

"Do it - please do it because there's kids and people who really need it - and you'll make someone's life so much better," Findahl said.

There are currently 35 children waiting for a kidney transplant in San Diego County.

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