Personal Stories

Mary Wu

Back
Name:
Mary Wu
Location:
Ossining, NY
Age at Time of Transplant:
12
Transplant:
Two-Time Kidney Transplant Recipient
Date of Transplant:
May 5, 1995
"My organ donors and their families are with me. No words can capture the love and unbreakable bond between us, though we never met."

At age three, I was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure. I was put on peritoneal dialysis, in and out of the hospital, and underwent numerous procedures. None of my family members were a match. We waited.

I received my first kidney transplant when I was six. My life began from that moment on. I remember eating and loving food again, going to school, dancing to 80’s music with my sister, cuddling with my Mother, and laughing with

At age twelve, my transplanted kidney was failing. The news arrived at the onset of puberty, at a time when I was self-conscious about my physical appearance and curious and confused about cute boys and gossipy girls.

I was prepped for hemodialysis. I received my second kidney transplant only two months after being placed on the waiting list. This was a miracle. After my second transplant, I promised both my organ donor families—whoever they may be—that I was going to make a difference in other people’s lives and live my life to the fullest.

Since my second kidney transplant in 1995, I have been an ardent advocate for the organ transplant community. I actively volunteer for multiple transplant organizations. I write to and meet with legislatures about transplant issues, speak to the public about my story to increase the organ donation registration rate, and counsel transplant recipients and their caregivers. Multiple transplant organizations and my local newspaper, the Westchester County Journal News, support my efforts.

With every advocacy success, my organ donors and their families are with me. Not a day passes that I do not think of them. I can never thank them enough for giving me back my life. No words can capture the love and unbreakable bond between us, though we never met.

I now feel blessed that I endured health challenges as a child. It made me stronger and I appreciate life and all that I have. Most of all, I now show the world that the absolute power of organ donation and transplantation is that we are all connected in the circle of life.

Read Mary’s blog, “Confessions of a Kidney Transplant Recipient”

Tell Us Your Story

More Personal Stories

Carmen Knight

Carmen Knight

Carmen Knight is happy to be alive, and to be able to spread the message about the importance of donation.
Lauren Shields

Lauren Shields

Lauren Shields is full of heart! If, as expected, the "Lauren's Law" bill is signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Yorkers will have to make a choice about being an organ donor.
John  Primavera

John Primavera

I was born with a condition called Hypoplastic Kidney Disease. After waiting for two years on the organ transplant list, I received my new kidney in the summer of 1987. I was 14.
Jessi-Ann Bettcher

Jessi-Ann Bettcher

I’ll never forget what happened to me in the spring of 2007. On what was just an ordinary Tuesday for most people, my young life was saved when I received a new heart.
Marilyn Foster

Marilyn Foster

My life was saved because an anonymous family donated a liver to me four years ago. I would have died if I didn’t get the new liver.
Stefanos  Tsigrimanis

Stefanos Tsigrimanis

Stefanos Tsigrimanis, a 29-year-old native of Greece and a college student, saved four lives. A little more than a year later, his mother gets to meet his transplant recipients.
Anne Marie Pauletta

Anne Marie Pauletta

Anne Marie Pauletta had her whole life ahead of her. This is how "Law and Order" led to her saving seven other lives.
Janine Brawer

Janine Brawer

Janine Brawer was struck by a car while crossing the street leaving Tottenville High School. The 17-year-old saved multiple lives by donating her organs, eyes and tissues.
Drew White

Drew White

Our only hope is that others will come to know the joy of life reborn because someone like you decided to give the gift of life.
Jennifer  Lentini

Jennifer Lentini

At the age of 13, Jennifer needed a life-saving heart transplant. For four months, Jennifer deteriorated as her heart weakened. Then, on July 6, 1996, Jennifer received a second chance at life.