By OPEC Staff
Renee Wooldridge, a health records technician at the California Health Care Facility, knows a lot about overcoming adversity – like waiting for a kidney transplant.
She worked at CDCR for years – going to dialysis in the morning and to work right after. All the while, she sustained herself with one goal – get a new kidney and get her life back.
And she was eventually successful. She recently sat down for an interview with Inside CDCR.
How has your life changed since the transplant?
My life has become easy to manage again after having to do dialysis daily, then go to work and then repeat day in and out.
Also I’m able to attend some things without having to stop go home and do dialysis. I’m free from the bondage of fighting to stay healthy
I still fight, but it’s not as hard
Do you know who donated the kidney to you?
I received a healthy kidney from an 18-year-old. Unfortunately, his demise was my glory.
How long did you wait for a transplant?
I waited for four years, which is not very long. (Editor’s note: The National Kidney Foundation states the average time frame for waiting can be 3-5 years at most centers and even longer in some geographical regions of the country.)
What advice would you give to people waiting for transplants?
The process is so, so humbling. You also have to have acceptance and feel that you will, with time, receive a healthy kidney that works for you.
I administered dialysis to myself daily then went to work.
Continue to believe! Don’t give up! Fight! Fight! Fight! It can happen!
What sustained you during your wait?
My family, peers, coworkers, faith all helped me to endure the process and let me know to be patient.
How has the transplant changed your outlook on life?
The transplant confirmed to me that all things are possible. You have to have faith and believe.
Has there been any downside?
Unfortunately while going through this process, being at work and missing days I was docked. I still owe the state $5,600. I’ve been short but I’m still holding on. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.