TAMPA, FL — They say life begins at 40 – but this Filipina gave the gift of life when she turned 40 in 2000.
These Filipinas call themselves “wonder women.”
Susan San Miguel Romero, and her daughter Jackie Romero Tunaya, gave up their kidneys to save the lives of two men, not even related to them.
“We’re wonder women; we have wonder kidneys, we have healthy kidneys,” said Romero. “A friend of mine, like the husband, I found out 17 years ago, he has kidney failure, and he was going through dialysis and needed a kidney, I called her up and told her; tell your husband, tell him you found a kidney donor.”
Recently, when her daughter Jackie was given a chance to save someone else’s life, it was easy for her to do the same exact thing.
Jackie Romero Tunaya flew all the way to California from Florida, and gave her left kidney to Fil-Am celebrity photographer Michael Anthony Hermogeno.
Hermogeno had been on dialysis for two years while waiting for a kidney donor, before finding a perfect match in Jackie.
“There are over a hundred thousand dialysis patients nationwide who are in need of a kidney and they only average about 16,000 donations a year, those are mostly cadaver donations,” he said. “So it’s important to check off the donor box on your driver’s license to help out other people who are in need.”
But others like Susan and Jackie took it a step further, by becoming live donors.
“That’s truly the gift of life, something to consider but it’s a huge sacrifice,” said Hermogeno.
“I did not have that fear. God works in mysterious ways. I know that we have two kidneys, and that you’d still survive with one kidney… If your heart is into helping someone, and if you wanna save a life, then donate a kidney or be a bone marrow [donor]. Save a life,” said Romero.
Every day, 12 people die waiting for a kidney, according to statustics. You can give a stranger a second chance at life by signing up as live-donor at kidney.org.