Versiti - Juan Alcala | Impact Stories

Juan Alcala

“My kidney donor didn’t think about herself; she was just trying to help me.”

Juan Alcala

Toward the end of 2015, Juan began feeling unwell. But when the feeling persisted for several weeks, he decided to see a doctor. “They found out that my kidneys had stopped working. They were surprised I even made it in there,” he says. Juan was admitted to the hospital and doctors tried to get his kidneys functioning again. But it wasn’t long before he was put on dialysis and told he needed a kidney transplant to survive.

Juan’s friends and family rallied around him, creating social media pages and car decals to find a donor. His daughter’s Girl Scout troop even focused their community service project on creating flyers that were posted at her school. “We tried with friends and family members to have them tested, but some had other health issues or weren’t good enough matches,” he says.

Eventually, it was a complete stranger who came to Juan’s aid. “My donor said she knew somebody who was from my daughter’s school and had posted about it on their social media,” he says. She turned out to be a perfect match and donated a kidney to Juan in September 2020.

Six months after surgery, Juan and his donor were able to meet. “To finally know who she was and to thank her was really nice,” he says. “She didn’t think about herself; she was just trying to help me. She knew this was something she had to do.”

Today, Juan is healthy and encourage others to give back by joining the organ and tissue donor registry or donating blood. “With the blood shortage, I tell people that it can make a big difference to donate even one time,” he says. “If you can, do it to help out.”

People need people, make a difference in someone’s life by donating blood.

We must rely on each other for the gift of blood, and patients in your community rely on the generosity of Versiti’s blood donors to help. Please consider scheduling an appointment to donate. If this is your first time, donating blood is quick, easy and relatively painless. And, it is a great way to give back and help patients in your community.

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Become an Organ and Tissue Donor
Learn more about how to sign up as an organ, tissue and eye donor and how organ donation saves and enhances lives in our communities.
Share Your Story
Versiti invites you to share your story and photo to help encourage more people to give back. You may even be featured throughout the year on our social media.
Impact Stories
Your blood, organ and tissue, and other donations directly impact lives in your community. Read a few of the examples of some of the lives that have been changed for the better.
Ways to Give
You can support Versiti’s mission in several ways, including donating blood, hosting a blood drive, joining the organ and tissue donor registry, and more.