Lisa, 50, and her husband, Curtis, are from Albuquerque, New Mexico. They have two children: Nathan, 21, and Gabbie, 24.
Lisa loves horses. She grew up riding and at one time ran a boarding stable, giving riding lessons to children and putting on horse shows. A kind and caring person, she now works as a registered nurse at a Veteran’s Administration hospital. In the past, she worked as a volunteer firefighter, ambulance attendant, fire and rescue dispatcher, and school nurse. She also foster-parented and adopted her daughter, Gabbie.
At age 26, Lisa was diagnosed wtih Polycystic Kidney Disease. PKD is a hereditary disease in which cysts form in the kidneys, enlarging them tremendously and eventually leading to complete kidney failure. For the most part, Lisa was symptom-free until several years ago. Now she struggles with nausea, overwhelming fatigue, and inability to eat due to her swollen kidneys crowding her stomach and intestines. Her kidneys have become so enlarged that they rub against her pancreas, resulting in her having been hospitalized several times for pancreatitis. Soon, she will have to go on dialysis--which will limit her life severely.
Lisa’s mother died of PKD at age 72 after being on dialysis for 10 years. Having watched her mother’s tremendous suffering as she struggled with PKD, Lisa fears the same will happen to her. And, as a health professional, she knows too well what is to come.
Lisa has been on the list for a deceased-donor kidney about 10 months, but the wait in her area of the country can be as much as 5 years. Her physician has strongly encouraged her to seek a living donor--and to do so before dialysis is necessary--because a living donor offers her the best chance for survival. There are numerous advantages of receiving a kidney from a living donor rather than one from a deceased donor. For instance, a living-donor kidney is nearly always healthier and generally lasts about 20 years as oppoosed to 10 years for a kidney from a deceased donor.
Lisa has Type B blood, which means that any person with Type B or O is a potential match. However, because her hransplant facility, Albuquerque Presbyterian Medical Center, participates in paired donation, a person of any blood type can donate. Lisa's insurance covers a donor's transplant-related medical expenses, including testing and follow-up. You need not be a resident of New Mexico in order to donate. For a donor who lives far away, programs are available to cover the cost of transportation, lodging, meals, and car rental.
If you would like to be tested to see if you could be a donor, you may contact Lisa personally by phone, e-mail, or Facebook (info below). Or, if you prefer to remain anonymous, you may contact Lisa Guthrie, the living donor coordinator, at Presbyterian Medical Center.
Thank you for reading Lisa’s story and for considering living donation. She will be forever grateful to that special person who makes the decision to give her the Gift of Life. If you are unable to donate but would like to help, please share her story with others by clicking on the icons below.
To reach Lisa Guthrie (Living Donor Coordinator): Albuquerque Presbyterian Medical Center 505-563-6476 800-597-7217
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Lisa and “Ming. ”Lisa’s fur ball who reached out of the cage and grabbed her at the pound. They’ve been inseparable ever since.
The Steinman Family (clockwise): Curtis, Lisa, Gabbie, and Nathan.
Lisa backpacking in the San Pedro Parks Wilderness before her kidneys became so enlarged that she was no longer able to do that sort of thing. She looks forward to backpacking again some day.