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Patient Stories

  • Frank Jimenez

    Daughter Donates Kidney to Father

    Frank Jimenez was 73 years old when he learned his kidneys were failing, but he wasn't exactly used to feeling sick and tired. For decades he'd worked 10 to 12 hour days, running his theater supplies business. He was a lifelong athlete who built his own house in the countryside outside of Sonoma, Calif. His doctor had no idea what had caused his kidney failure, and he hadn't faced anything like it before. "I'd never been sick in my life," he says. "It was a shock." Frank worked hard to stay healthy and keep his kidneys going with a good diet,[...]
    Story Tags: Kidney TransplantLiving Donor Kidney Transplant
  • Simone Chou

    When Her Kidneys Failed, a Friend Made an Unusual Offer

    It's often said that the friends you make in college are the friends you keep for life. In the case of 34-year-old Simone Chou, a friend she made in college helped save her life. In her last year at UC Berkeley, where she was getting a bachelor's degree in nutrition, Chou learned that she had lupus. In lupus, the body's immune system turns against itself, sending antibodies — the body's defenders against viruses, bacteria, and other foreign invaders — to battle against its own tissues. In Chou's case, her immune system was[...]
    Story Tags: Kidney TransplantPeritoneal Dialysis
  • Ashlee Harris

    Cranial Re-animation Surgery

    The Wittgenstein Forum blog  reports on a Nevada Appeal article highlighting the benfits of using cranial re-animation surgery to treat Mobius Syndrome, a rare birth defect caused by the absence or underdevelopment of cranial nerves that control eye movement and facial expression. The surgery is performed at UCSF by Dr. William Hoffman. Miracles happen every day. So they say. But what if you're a family in need of multiple miracles? Such is the case with the Harris clan in Carson City. Their problem was simple – and yet seemingly unsolvable. Their daughter Ashlee, 7, a first-grader at Mark[...]
    Story Tags: Moebius Syndrome
  • Patrick Caldie & Stephen Fowler

    Work of Love

    Stephen Fowler and Patrick Caldie have more in common than teaching at-risk high school students at the El Dorado County Office of Education. On Feb. 1, 2007, Fowler donated part of his liver to Caldie at UCSF Medical Center's Liver Transplant Program, one of the nation's leading centers for adult and pediatric liver transplants. Fowler underwent a new procedure, called a living donor transplant, which allows a living person to donate a segment of their liver that then grows or regenerates to full size in the recipient. UCSF liver transplant[...]
    Story Tags: CirrhosisLiver TransplantLiving Donor Liver Transplant
  • Gloria & Veronica Ramos

    Living Donor Transplant Emblemmatic of Loving Family

    Gloria Ramos
    When Gloria Ramos received the call in August 2000 that UCSF Medical Center had a liver for the transplant she badly needed, the Ramos family drove to the hospital with great anticipation and excitement. But further testing of the available organ revealed it wasn't a good match for Gloria and her daughters and husband expressed their disappointment. "This only means that I'm at the top of the list," Gloria recalls assuring her family. "I'll get called again!" Gloria contracted Hepatitis C through a blood transfusion in 1982 but the deadly virus lived undetected in her body until the summer[...]
    Story Tags: CirrhosisHepatitis CLiver TransplantLiving Donor Liver Transplant
  • Ivan Barriga

    Islet Transplant Frees Patient of Diabetes

    One afternoon, Ivan Barriga woke up in his car on the side of the road with no memory of how he ended up there. Luckily, he was not injured, but his severe case of type 1 diabetes put him at risk for passing out again without warning. "I was constantly frustrated and fearful of the next insulin reaction because it was a life and death situation," says Barriga, who at 18-years-old was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, a condition in which the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas stop making enough insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar[...]
    Story Tags: Type 1 Diabetes
  • Karen Peterson

    Brothers in Arms - Working Nights at UCSF to Cure Mesothelioma, Spurred by a Widower's Grief and Hard-Raised Cash reports on the collaboration of David M. Jablons, M.D. and Jeff Peterson whose wife Karen and died from mesothelioma, a devastating disease. Dr. David Jablons couldn't save Karen Peterson's life or even extend it. But he could give quality to whatever life she had left. That turned out to be about nine months, long enough for her twin boys to see her waterskiing on Lake Tahoe and boogie-boarding in Oceanside and laughing more than coughing.  Jablons, chief cardiothoracic surgeon at UCSF, was the last in a line of specialists Peterson had sought out coast to coast in a 22-month[...]
    Story Tags: Malignant Mesothelioma
  • Mike Wooldridge

    Cancer survivor takes fight against disease to the streets reports on the the journey of Mike Wooldridge after getting a devastating diagnosis and being turned away for surgery by M.D. Anderson, and being told it was incurable, only to get treatment at UCSF that enabled him to run in a marathon not long after that. Running a marathon without a third of your right lung might seem impossible, but for Mike Wooldridge it's just another day on the road.  Diagnosed with a fist-sized tumor in his right lung a year ago, the Pleasant Hill Web site designer was initially given a 10 to 15 percent chance of surviving. Today he's running 30 miles a[...]
    Story Tags: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
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