My name is Mannie Zubia and I am a kidney donor.

On February 29th, 2016 I donated my kidney to my mother. That decision came from the state I was seeing my mother in. Both of her kidneys were failing and then came the emergency dialysis. However, her body wasn’t handling the dialysis well, resulting in her being rushed to emergency room after emergency room.

I was tired of seeing my mom in pain and in constant suffering, not knowing that each day could be her last. Sadly, in dialysis, we would witness so many people losing their lives on that chair.

Considering that the waitlist for a kidney is 8 plus years, the only option for me was to step up and donate. My activity level prior to donating was moderate, I worked out 3 times a week maybe, weight training but not putting effort into my nutrition.

Fortunately, after the surgery, it took about one month for me to feel like myself again. I was able to recover and felt no pain which gave me the energy to go for walks at a steady pace. Knowing I would be living with one kidney made me want to dig deep into nutrition and find out as much information as I possibly could to live a normal, and healthy lifestyle.

I became health conscious and implemented daily workouts that consisted of strength training, long-distance running, as well as full body training. I am now on a plant-based lifestyle, which has given me the energy and nutrition my body needs.

Living with one kidney has made my life even better than before. I have so much confidence in myself and I believe that donating my kidney was the best thing I could’ve ever done. Two years after the surgery my wife and I had our first son and four years after him we had our second son and it has been two of the greatest gifts of my life.

I hope that this story will inspire others who are contemplating being a donor. The rewards after my surgery have involved a lifestyle with no drinking, no poor eating habits, working out daily, a changed physique, as well as making myself proud that I continue to defy the odds and challenge myself as much as I can.

To see my mom living with so much joy and freedom to be out of that dialysis chair has fulfilled me in ways that are truly remarkable.

The risks of donating didn’t get in the way of saving someone I care about. There’s a reason why we have the gift of donating our organs and still being able to live a normal life. We each have the opportunity to do something great in our lives. What’s better than being able to save someone’s life?

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