Patient Stories for Kidney and Pancreas Transplant

Needing a transplant during COVID-19, UI law student receives lifesaving kidney from his mother

When Gina vowed to donate a kidney to her son during the pandemic, the University of Iowa Organ Transplant Center supported her every step of the way.

Cooper's hero is his uncle

Cooper Vozza runs in the 2016 Transplant Games
Cooper was born with Smith-Magenis syndrome, a developmental disorder that results in some level of intellectual disability and delayed speech and language skills. He was also born with just one kidney, which was small and in renal failure. Doctors knew he would need a kidney transplant as soon as he was old enough and big enough for the surgery.

A dandy story

Two Iowans share more than a lifetime of memories, they share a kidney named "Dandy." Learn more about their incredible story today.

Preschool teacher donates kidney to student’s father

Darreld Peterson (left) with preschool teacher Nancy Bleuer (right)
Mason City preschool teacher Nancy donates kidney to student’s father, Darreld

Kidney donation gives Davenport man a second chance

Lifelong friends Mary Beth Murray and Eric Burge, of Davenport, Iowa
Luckily, when Eric started having health issues, his lifelong friend, Mary Beth Murray, had a special connection with organ donation and was willing to help. Since his transplant, Eric's care has been managed by UI Post Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Coordinator Lou Ann Reynolds, RN. Reynolds stresses the importance of becoming an organ donor.

2016 Transplant Games Athlete — Katina Waldorf

Katina participated in the Transplant Games for her children. Katina wanted to show her children what she can do, and how healthy she has become. Donation has been a blessing for Katina since she can now watch her children and grandchildren grow.

2016 Transplant Games Athlete — Kevin Slifka

Kevin wants people to know that organ donation is an opportunity to give another person a higher quality of life. In Kevin's case, he feels physically and emotionally healthier than he did before his donation. For Kevin, he finds the reward in being able to watch his organ recipient accomplish great things — like participating in the Transplant Games!

2016 Transplant Games Athlete — Mary Beth Murray

On Jan. 3, 2013, Mary Beth underwent surgery and successfully helped her friend in need. This year, she and Eric participated in the 2016 Transplant Games, which was held June 10-15 in Cleveland, Ohio. They competed together in the Transplant Games' donor/recipient bowling. Mary Beth also competed alone in track and field events.

2016 Transplant Games Athlete — Jonathan Kiser

Jonathan traveled from his hometown of Muscatine, Iowa to Cleveland, Ohio to compete in the 2016 Donate Life Transplant Games as a kidney recipient. He participated in a variety of bowling events and showed his skill at darts.

2016 Transplant Games Athlete — Ginger Huston

Ginger Huston is a kidney donor from Danville, Iowa. She joined athletes from across the nation demonstrating their skills and talents in track and field, darts, and cornhole.