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Life Stories: An Active, Healthy Young Woman More than 20 Years Later

Kelly Olmo and her mother, Cathy Kelly Olmo and her mother, Cathy

Liver Recipient: Pleasanton, CA

Kelly Olmo made her entrance into the world as a normal and healthy baby. Shortly after her birth, she developed neonatal jaundice. A month later, she was tested again, and the diagnosis came back: Kelly had neonatal hepatitis. Her liver was severely weakened.

Just after her second birthday, with doctors predicting that she had less than one week to live, Kelly received the gift of life. Her mother, Cathy, remembers the day well. “We were sad to know that another child had died, and we were in awe that a family, in the most tragic moment of their lives, chose to help a perfect stranger: Kelly.”

Today, more than 20 years later, Kelly is an active, healthy young woman. And the family all participates in efforts to promote donation. After years of volunteer work, Cathy now works for the California Transplant Donor Network in the Community Outreach department.

Kelly has participated in Saturn Donor Day, she’s thrown out the first pitch at a San Francisco Giants game, and each year she helps with the annual Christmas party for the kids at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, where she gives hope to the many children heading down the same road she did.

“We think of Kelly’s donor family and thank them in our hearts every day.”

— Cathy Olmo, Kelly’s mother

Says Kelly’s mother Cathy, “It has been over 20 years since Kelly received her gift of life through a perfect stranger. This family said ‘yes’ to donation when their own child died. We think of her donor family and thank them in our hearts every day.”

Kelly’s story is courtesy of California Transplant Donor Network, Oakland, CA.


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