When Tina Quizon's nightly call back home to her parents went unanswered
one day, she knew something was wrong.
Her mother, Juliet Quizon, had failing kidneys for over a decade, something
she kept hidden from her daughters because she didn't even want them
to consider donating a kidney to her.
"What if one of them have the same diagnosis and someday they need
a kidney transplant?" Juliet asked. "Who's going to give
it to them? As mom that was my biggest worry."
With her mother's secret now out, Tina graduated from nursing school
and came home to nurse her mother through a year of dialysis. Then, they
found out the disease Juliet had was not hereditary.
For Tina, the decision to donate was an obvious one.
"My mom gave me life, so how could i not give it back to her?"
Tina said. "She's doing so well. I get emotional because it's
amazing how someone can change from dialysis to getting a transplant."
Tina donated her kidney to her mother in 2011. Now, both women find themselves
connecting with dialysis patients on a daily basis at St. Joseph's
Hospital in Orange County, where they both work side-by-side.
Tina became the kidney transplant coordinator in January, while Juliet
works as a dialysis nurse where she helps pediatric patients, encouraging
them and reminding them that she was once there too. She has thank you
cards from her patients expressing gratitude for her confidence and strength,
but Juliet says all her strength comes from her daughter.
"She's my inspiration; she gives me strength everyday," Juliet
says of her daughter. "I know, because of her, I have to take good
care of the kidney that she gave me."
Juliet says she has two birthdays now. The day she was born 63 years ago
and the day her daughter gave her a kidney.
Right now, there are about 18,000 people waiting for kidney transplants
just in CALIFORNIA where the wait for a donor is 8-10 Years. If you are
interested in becoming a kidney donor, click here:
This story originally appeared on NBC4 News, Monday, July 16, 2018.