Husband donates kidney to wife

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Elva K. Österreich/El Defensor Chieftain: Cecilia, Natasha, Pedro and Blanca Robles appreciate the opportunity to enjoy one another as a family after facing Cecilia’s encounter with kidney disease.

Four years ago Cecilia Robles was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease.

Traveling three times a week to Las Lunas for dialysis got expensive and was exhausting.

In March, she started dialysis at home, a different system but an effective one. Instead of replacing the blood and cleaning it in a short exhausting space of time, the process was able to happen overnight and more often.

The Robles family already knew the disease as Cecilia’s mother and sister both had gone through the same disease until they died of it.

“My husband didn’t want to see me go through these same things,” she said.

Pedro said as soon as the diagnosis came down, he was thinking about giving his wife a kidney.

“Since the day they diagnosed her, I was thinking about transplant,” he said. “It’s better than being hooked up for life.”

The doctors didn’t think it would work, Cecilia said.

“If they put the two people’s blood together and the blood fights, it won’t work,” she said.

“But they didn’t fight.”

So on June 26 Cecilia and Pedro went under the knife and Cecilia had a working kidney, and Pedro did too.

Cecilia will have to remain on a special diet and medications for the rest of her life, a price the family regards as small for the promise of full life and the opportunity to see their teen-aged daughters Bianca and Natasha grow up.

“That’s my second chance at life,” Cecilia said.

The Robles’ is back to normal now Pedro said but adds they couldn’t have done it all without family. His family and hers took turns providing invaluable support throughout the ordeal.

“I would like to encourage people to donate,” Pedro said. “A person only needs one kidney. We are recyclable.”

Cecilia’s brother lost a kidney, he said, not from disease but in a vehicle accident.