POSTED: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 7:49am
UPDATED: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 5:15pm
After fighting for her life for the past 29 years, Yvette Lazarin says organ donors have given her a chance to live not one, not two, but three times.
"I got sick when I was 11. I lost my kidneys to strep throat and it settled in my kidneys and I got a disease called Glomerulonephritis," Lazarin said.
At 41 years old Yvette is no stranger to surgery and disease, but she's not going to lose hope or give up.
"If God had wanted to take me, he would have taken me a long time ago. There's no sense in sitting around and feeling sorry your yourself," Lazarin said.
In fact, Yvette is a fighter and even after three kidney transplants, years on and off dialysis, battling diabetes and even losing her hands and feet she graduated from college and is an advocate for kids by motivating them to stay in school.
At age 16 her first kidney was giving out, forcing her to receive dialysis as an alternative.
"It worked for five years and then I went to dialysis for four years and that took a lot out of me, I didn't get to finish high school," Lazarin said.
Dr. Alfonzo Chavez, founder of the Amigo Kidney Foundation, has been working with Yvette for 30 years. He says El Pasoans need to be aware of kidney disease especially because latinos are at a high risk.
"It is quite prevalent, the diabetes and high blood pressure associated kidney disease. Yvette would be an example of a patient who has had a kidney transplant and has fought all of her life in a remarkable way," Dr. Chavez said.
Dialysis is only a temporary fix and donating an organ could change somebody's future forever.
"There are a lot of people on dialysis and many people are on the transplant list. We would like for more people to recognize that the only way for these people to survive is by having a kidney transplant," Dr. Chavez said.
"If I had been on dialysis, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy half or three-fourths of the things I've been able to enjoy," Lazarin said.
Yvette's longtime neighbor and friend, Estrella, volunteered to give her the gift of life by donating her kidney last week.
She says its the support of her friends, family and faith in god that give her strength.
"I feel very lucky actually. If it hadn't been for Estrella I would probably be on dialysis and waiting for another kidney," Lazarin said.
Doctors at the University Hospital San Antiono say they were a match made in heaven, giving Yvette the fuel to to overcome any obstacle.
Now she's sharing her story to...
"Educate people about becoming donors because I think that everybody deserves a second chance."
And show everyone that anything is possible.
To help those with kidney disease you can donate to the Amigo Kindey Foundation at:
1250 E Cliff Dr # 1A El Paso, TX 79902
or call (915) 532-2693 for more information.