Say "Yes" Today

Darren Sussman

Hello March and a new face in our Faces of Transplantation Calendar - Then and Now edition!

Then... Darren Sussman, Kidney/ Pancreas Recipient 2013 calendar participant.

Now...What felt like flu symptoms to Darren, a Type 1 diabetic, worsened and he was shocked to learn he was actually in end stage kidney failure, would need to begin dialysis and consider a kidney/pancreas transplant in the near future. After six months of waiting, Darren received a kidney/pancreas transplant thanks to the generosity of his donor, Casey, whose family Darren later became close to. Darren’s transplant experience compelled him to produce a short documentary, “The Casey Connection” as an educational tool to educate the community about organ and tissue donation and transplantation, He didn’t stop there. Additionally since he was no longer an insulin-dependent diabetic thanks to his new pancreas, Darren earned his pilot’s license, which would not have been previously possible due to Federal Aviation Authority guidelines.

In April 2020, Darren came across another hurdle when he was diagnosed with COVID-19. He spent the next 15 days on a ventilator and doctors told his family to prepare for the worst case scenario. In true Darren form, he persevered and after 21 total days in the hospital he was discharged COVID-19 free. Darren, like many other COVID-19 patients, is still recovering, but his kidney and pancreas remain in perfect shape. Darren’s experiences fighting for his life with transplant, and now COVID-19, have made him a better person and he is extremely grateful for life.