In A Heart Touching Act, 24 YO Filipino Expat In Abu Dhabi Comes To The Rescue Of Her Uncle By Donating Kidney
A 24-year-old Filipino gave her uncle a new life by donating her kidney to him and becoming one of the youngest kidney donors in the UAE in the process.
Arlene Maskarino never hesitated to a give away a part of her body to her beloved uncle after realizing that she was eligible to donate.
“He is not just my uncle, he is also like a father to me and my best friend. We all lived in one house together and every time, I saw him suffering, I felt my heart aching,” said Arlene, who works in the UAE as a customer service representative.
“When the doctors told us that my uncle needed a Blood Type O donor, I immediately knew that I just had to do it,” said Arlene.
Obviously, her family are awestruck with her kindness. “My uncle was so happy and excited to have a second chance to live,” added Arlene, who has been living in the UAE for the last three years.
She makes regular visits to his hospital room at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, which is only a few rooms down from her own hospital room.
Shoutout to this brave young lady for having the courage to commit to such an awesome act of kindness and never once hesitated to go forward with it. Indeed a generousity beyond measure. Thank you for giving me more years to live, more chance at life. I must have done something really amazing to deserve all these. To my family who have been my prayer warriors. Friends who had been immensely supportive – Thank you! You’ve been with me during this whole ordeal, for being with me to countless hospital trips, for giving me constant reminder of the diet I should stick to, for depriving me of a teaspoon of peanut butter, for not giving me that bottle of beer – Thank you! All your prayers and well wishes were heard. And of course, to You, I may not pray that much and I don’t pray that well, but still, you continue to bless me. Let this second life be spent towards being a blessing to others. Thank you Lord! #feelingblessed
Arlene who is recovering well after her surgery will be discharged in a few days time, after which her uncle will be coming out of the hospital.
“I didn’t really feel scared, because I love my uncle and care about him. If you really love and care about someone, then everything will be worth it; the pain will be worth it.”
“To just know that you are adding more years to the life of someone whom you love, and to just see them happy and healthy again – it makes any pain worth it,” underlined Arlene, adding she is set to return to work in six weeks.
Arlene’s uncle, Lito Gerodias, said he will forever be grateful for his niece’s life-saving gesture. He spoke about his ordeal with kidney failure, which first appeared a decade ago.
“I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in 2016, but I had issues with my kidney since 2008.
I suffered an urinary trap infection and was advised to undergo a kidney biopsy at that time,” said the 33-year-old accountant, who moved to the UAE 10 years ago.
“I did not go for the biopsy, because I assumed that I was fine. I didn’t think it was necessary as I didn’t really feel ill.” Now, he regrets his decision with tears in his eyes.
“If one feels something is wrong in the body, one must get it checked. I regret not listening to what the doctor advised me 10 years ago, because it led to my niece donating her kidney to me.”
In 2016, Lito’s blood pressure began to rise, despite his vigorous gym routine and healthy lifestyle. He often felt nauseous and suffered from chronic vomiting.
It was confirmed that he suffered from chronic kidney disease and he needed to undergo tedious dialysis treatment, or receive a new and healthy kidney.
His kidney was functioning less than 15 per cent by now. Lito said that his 24-year-old niece instantly offered her kidney without anyone having to ask.
“I was concerned because she was so young. I was afraid it might have an impact on her chances to conceive in the future, but the doctor assured us that everything would be fine.”
Lito pointed out that despite the rollercoaster of a journey, and although the dark chapter is over, it has truly been a life-changing lesson and is somewhat of a gift: “To never take life for granted.”
“I am very thankful to Arlene, for giving a part of her to me.”
“I still remember the time when we were having the meeting with the doctor who asked Arlene why she wants to give her kidney to me, and she simply said: “There is no reason, he is my uncle and I love him, so I’m giving him a part of me.”