Andrea’s story is truly moving. In 2009, she gave birth to her daughter. Like many women, Andrea gained weight rapidly as a result of her pregnancy, and struggled to lose the weight afterward. A year later, after years of struggling with diabetes, end stage renal failure had left her father on dialysis, and it was discovered that Andrea was the best donor candidate in her family. To prepare her body for surgery, Andrea worked hard all year to shed her excess weight, but struggled all the while. Though she was unable to lose the weight the transplant counselors wanted, she did manage to avoid gaining weight, and the surgery finally proceeded successfully in March 2011.
Looking back on these events, Andrea remarks, “Though recovery was difficult, I was able to spend some quality time with my dad in those weeks. We now share something indescribably rare and precious because of what we’ve gone through together.” Today, Andrea is a 31-year-old devoted wife and mother. She counts many blessings in her life, “a satisfying career, a close-knit family, a supportive husband, and a sweet two year old daughter. I don’t take those for granted, but the constant fighting against my body haunts me…” Andrea says she is determined to make a big change in her life, and set a good example for her young daughter, “I’m facing my last real chance to reach a healthy weight…I want my daughter to escape what has troubled me.”