A UC Davis Transplant Center patient’s young sons recently visited the center to hand off a check for $300, earnings from a lemonade stand they set up in a park near their home in Folsom, Calif.
The stand gave the boys — ages 5 and 2 — an opportunity to show gratitude to the center that restored the health of their father, Shahar Sigal, who had a kidney transplant in March.
“Giving back to the center was very important to my kids,” said the boys’ mom, Amanda Sigal. “It was also important for them to build the stand together with Shahar, who didn’t have the energy to do fun projects with them before the transplant.”
That fun family project earned more than expected, thanks to social media posts by Amanda Sigal and the generosity of their community. The Sigals hope the funds help families stay together during the transplant process, since many patients live outside of the Sacramento region.
“The Sigal’s story shows the importance of family, friends and community to the healing process,” said Stephanie Baroni, living transplant program coordinator. “Their donation will help cover costs for patients whose loved live far away and don’t have extra travel funds.”
Shahar Sigal’s transplant was possible due to a paired exchange, when a living kidney donor is incompatible with his/her recipient and swaps recipients with another living kidney donor. As a result, two people with end-stage renal disease received lifesaving transplants.
“The stand helped our children say ‘thank you’ for that amazing gift and make things a little easier for others at the same time,” Amanda Sigal said.
There are nearly 1,200 people on the waiting list for donor kidneys at UC Davis, which has one of the highest volume kidney transplant programs in the nation. Information about becoming an organ donor is available on the transplant center website and through Sierra Donor Services.
For information on how to help support the transplant center, contact Elizabeth Abad at 916-734-9400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.