Couple Share Life, and Love, Through Live Donor Kidney Transplant

A couple in love share more than their hearts.

When Crystal met her future husband, Richard Mayanja, eight years ago, she knew he had IGA nephropathy, also known as Berger's disease. Richard had been diagnosed with this common kidney disease in his early 20s. Richard looked healthy and felt fine at the time. He assured Crystal that dialysis, if necessary, would be many years away.

In late 2009, however, Richard wasn’t feeling so well. He couldn't shake off a cold. Weak and fatigued, he had little energy to play with their 2-year-old son. By February 2010, he was in end-stage kidney failure and needed a kidney transplant or dialysis to survive.

Knowing that the wait for a cadaver donor often takes years, the Mayanja family rallied to the cause. Several blood relatives came forward to donate a kidney to their loved one. Yet it was Richard’s wife, Crystal, who turned out to be the best match. Four months later, Crystal donated one of her kidneys to Richard at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. She was nervous, she said, but she tried to be strong for her husband’s sake.

"Richard is doing great now,” Crystal says. “He is going back to full-time work as a public health educator and has so much more energy. He acts just like a healthy, normal 32-year-old. Most Important, he has the energy to run and play with our son. He is so thankful for what I've done. I have no regrets at all."

We can help

If you or someone you know needs a kidney transplant or wishes to donate an organ to a loved one, please call the Recanati Miller Transplantation Institute at 212-659-8086 to schedule an appointment. We can provide the answers you need to make an informed decision about your health.