Anonymous Donors Bring Christmas Cheer to Transplant Patients

January 11, 2010

Three anonymous families spread holiday cheer in 2009 to transplant patients and their families. The donor families generously gave gifts and money to provide the patients with a bountiful Christmas. For one donor family, who wishes to remain anonymous, it was their second year to provide hope to a transplant patient’s family in the midst of the holiday season. Their generosity inspired two other families to provide gifts for transplant patients and their families this year.

“We are so touched by the generosity of these three families,” said Jackie Hancock, NFT president. “It’s particularly wonderful that the family from last year has inspired others to follow their example. The Kaurs, Smiths and Wilsons are all struggling to get by, and these gifts will enable them to have a true Christmas celebration this year. What a kind and selfless gesture to make during this season of giving.”

With the help of the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT), three families benefited from these secret Santas:

Rajinder Kaur
Rajinder was diagnosed nine years ago with IgA Nephropathy, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and scarring of the kidneys. Doctors discovered this illness during her second pregnancy, and later said a kidney transplant was her only hope for a second chance at life. Fortunately, she received her lifesaving transplant in July 2009, after nearly a year on the waiting list.

Rajinder and her husband, Gurmit Singh, have struggled to keep up with the financial obligations related to her transplant, such as the significant travel and lodging expenses, as the transplant took place more than 1,000 miles from her home. The Kaurs were unsure how they could provide gifts for their two girls, ages 9 and 14, during the holiday season and were thrilled to learn about this family’s generous offer to purchase gifts for them.

“Words cannot describe how helpful this is for our family,” said Gurmit. “With Rajinder’s transplant and the medications, we are having a difficult time, and we are so thankful for this family’s kindness.”

Kim Smith
Kim Smith was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease and diabetic nephropathy in 2003. She endured dialysis treatments for four years, and doctors said a kidney transplant was her only hope for a second chance at life. Fortunately, she received her transplant in November 2009, thanks to a generous living donor.

Kim is an ordained minister but has been unable to work for the past 15 years because of her health problems. She has helped raise 28 children and adopted five herself. Her four youngest children (twin 9-year-olds and two 10-year-olds, all girls) still live with her, and she did not know how she could afford Christmas gifts.

“I am very grateful for this family’s support,” said Kim. “It’s a tremendous help because the finances are so tight.”

Reynaldo Wilson
Reynaldo Wilson began experiencing health problems in 2008 and was diagnosed with a life-threatening liver disease. Around the same time, doctors also discovered a cancer mass on Reynaldo’s right kidney. His liver condition is so severe that he cannot undergo treatment for the cancer until his liver is treated. Doctors say he needs to be evaluated for a liver transplant as soon as possible.

A liver transplant costs more than $500,000. When Wilson began receiving Social Security disability, Medicaid canceled his coverage, stating that his disability income was too high to qualify for Medicaid. Reynaldo and his wife have four children, ranging in age from 2 to 14 years old. His declining health prevents him from working, and the disability income is barely enough for his family to make ends meet. Without coverage, Reynaldo cannot afford the evaluation to determine if a transplant is an option, leaving his family feeling hopeless.

“On behalf of Rey and our entire family, I just want to thank this family for their support,” said Griselda, Reynaldo’s wife. “This has been such a rough year. When I asked Rey what he would like for Christmas, he said, ‘I just want to spend the remaining time I have happy, and have a happy ending.”