Brenda Dalmida struggled for four arduous years on kidney dialysis. Polycystic kidney disease had taken its toll on the outgoing, gregarious woman who enjoyed running and traveling to tropical destinations. Three days a week, beeping, whirring machines rid the retired school principal’s blood of deadly toxins. Brenda, then 58, wondered what her future held.
“It was a dismal life. Towards the end of the four years, I had become very depressed. Is this how it’s going to be? This is going to be my life?”Brenda Dalmida
In March 2017, Brenda’s bright beam of light finally appeared. After six years on the organ transplant waitlist, she received the call that a donated kidney was a match for her transplant.
Waking up the following morning from her late-night transplant surgery, Brenda said she immediately felt her body reawakening. “Instantly, my body responded to [the new kidney]. Life returned to me. Life came back.”
Brenda is grateful to her donor and his family. “I would love to thank them and have them get some sense of what a tremendous impact this donation had,” said Brenda, who enjoys spending time with her granddaughters and engaging in yoga and massage therapy.
In October 2022, she reached out to Donate Life NYS to express her interest in volunteering and advocating on the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation. She also wants to dispel myths and misperceptions perpetuating in the Black community on the topic.
Brenda offers a message to those on the fence about organ, eye, and tissue donation. “What I can say as a recipient is that you could be a superhero. You can change a life that’s headed down a dark, dark path. You can redirect that.”Brenda Dalmida
Thanks to the gift of life that Brenda received through organ donation, she envisions more days of sunshine on her face and sandy Caribbean beaches in her future. A Spanish major in college who previously lived in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Central America, she dreams of soon visiting Cuba and experiencing its food and culture.
Hopefully, Brenda’s shining example will help others like her find their way out of the dark through the miracle of organ, eye, and tissue donation.