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Patient Stories

  • Lorelei Batty

    A Complex Procedure for Life-Threatening Pancreatitis

    A Complex Procedure for Life-Threatening Pancreatitis One morning in December 2014, Lorelei Batty woke up screaming in pain and sick to her stomach. Emergency room doctors in her hometown of Santa Maria, Calif., thought the 3-year-old had the flu and sent her home. But Lorelei didn't improve over the next week and a half, and a far more serious diagnosis soon came in: pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas that's rare in children and can be difficult to treat. After spending most of the next nine months in seven different hospitals with deteriorating health, Lorelei finally[...]
  • Chris Schroeder

    When Chris Schroeder's Kidneys Failed, His Family Stepped Forward

    Chris Schroeder has been extraordinarily unlucky — and extraordinarily lucky. The 58-year-old Walnut Creek, Calif., resident grew up in a family where the specter of polycystic kidney disease, a disorder in which cysts form on the kidneys and eventually stop them from functioning, loomed large. His mother had a kidney transplant in her late 60s, and her father died of hereditary disease at the age of 56. So, from a young age, Schroeder was on the lookout for signs that he too would face similar challenges. Chris Schroeder with his wife and son By the time he was in his early 40s, his[...]
    Story Tags: Kidney TransplantLiving Donor Kidney TransplantPeritoneal DialysisPolycystic Kidney Disease
  • Mike Schofield

    Two-Time Transplant Recipient Meets Donor's Family

    Michael Schofield
    After Michael Schofield had his first islet cell transplant in April 2012, he wrote a letter thanking the family of his donor. It was over a year before he heard back from the donor’s mother. That's when he learned they had more in common than the young man whose cells Michael was carrying. He was en route to meet the mother last June, when he got another exciting piece of news: UCSF had a donor for the second islet transplant that he needed. In the space of a week he connected with one donor's family and started a new connection with another.[...]
    Story Tags: Type 1 Diabetes
  • Alyssa Welch

    A Story of Hope and Survival

    Amanda, Kim, Alyssa.jpg
     Alyssa flanked by mother Kim and older sister My name is Kim Welch, and my daughter Alyssa’s story is one of hope and survival. She was born 15 years ago with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD). ARPKD causes severe damage to both your kidney and liver. Alyssa was two and a half years old when she had her first kidney transplant. Ten days after her successful kidney transplant, unrelated to her congenital disease, Alyssa was diagnosed with eye cancer. Her left eye was surgically removed and replaced with an artificial one. Time marched on and so did Alyssa’s[...]
    Story Tags: Kidney TransplantPolycystic Kidney Disease
  • Sheila FitzPatrick

    Due Diligence Pays Off

    Sheila Fitzpatrick.jpg
    An international attorney specializing in data privacy and employment law, Sheila FitzPatrick spent three weeks of every month hopscotching the globe. Curious and passionate, she nurtured a worldwide network of friends who became her second family. A self-described "super-active" person, she loved heart-pounding 2-mile swims in the morning and long, leisurely walks around the great cities of Europe. She approached staying healthy with the same drive. Regular checkups never revealed the slightest hint of kidney disease. But in 2008, her[...]
    Story Tags: DialysisEnd-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)Kidney Transplant
  • Susie Rember

    Insulin-Free Patient Grateful for Islet Transplant

    Susie Rember
    Susan Rember was eight years old when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1957. At the time, diabetics used glass syringes, tested their urine for sugar levels and were told they could never live a normal life. But Rember was mostly free from major complications for 50 years, until she suffered a heart attack in 2005. She had a quintuple by-pass, but when three of the grafted vessels immediately failed, the Denver-based artist began exploring the possibility of an islet transplant. In 2007, she got new islets through a clinical study[...]
    Story Tags: Type 1 Diabetes
  • Kim Mendes

    Insulin Free for the First Time in 40 Years

    Kim Mendes
    Bay Area native Kim Mendes has lived most of her life with Type 1 diabetes and the disease has taken a heavy toll on her body, causing a host of medical problems including peripheral neuropathy, heart disease, kidney disease and a compromised immune system. She got an islet transplant in 2010 and has been insulin free ever since. How long have you had diabetes? This is my 40th year as a Type 1 diabetic. I was seven years old when I was diagnosed. I had fallen into a diabetic coma and insulin brought me out. From that moment on I was[...]
    Story Tags: Type 1 Diabetes
  • Amy Baghdadi

    The Gift of a Lifetime

    Amy Baghdadi
    Amy Baghdadi was living a perfectly normal life — working as a lawyer and raising two young kids with her husband in San Francisco. While training for a half marathon her side would ache after long runs. She figured it was just pulled a muscle. Then one evening the pain was so excruciating that her husband made her go to the emergency room. An ultrasound revealed that her liver was full of tumors, which were quickly diagnosed as cancer. After an aggressive chemotherapy regimen failed, Baghdadi's treatment options were running out. Liver[...]
    Story Tags: Liver Cancer (Hepatocellular Carcinoma)Liver TransplantLiving Donor Liver Transplant
  • Alison Wesley

    After Islet Transplant, Glucose Control is "Amazing"

    Islet Cell
    UCSF News reports on the experience of Alison Wesley who had "brittle" Type 1 diabetes and received an islet transplant, infusions of pancreatic islets, also called islets of Langerhans, enabling her to effectively control her glucose level. Frontiers of Clinical Research: Islet Transplantation Alison Wesley received her diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes when she was just 11 years old, after she developed the classic symptoms of the disease – severe weight loss, excessive thirst, sugar cravings, frequent urination, and feeling lethargic. To treat the diabetes, doctors put her on the first[...]
    Story Tags: Type 1 Diabetes
  • Alfonso Garcia

    A Young Man Saves Teen's Life

    Alfonso Garcia was just like any other typical healthy and active 16-year-old. He dreamed of attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, boxing, and serving in the military like his two other brothers. Then, in January 2010, he suddenly started feeling sick. He became feverish, anemic, fatigued and jaundiced. Alfonso found out that he had Wilson's disease, a rare genetic disorder in which copper in the body isn't properly eliminated and instead accumulates, damaging the liver and nervous system. Alfonso and his family received a grave[...]
    Story Tags: Liver TransplantWilson Disease
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