I am Henry Broadbent and when I was about 20 years old my physician diagnosed me with kidney failure. The treatment was dialysis. I was on dialysis for five months in 1972-1973. My family generously stepped up to be tested to donate a kidney. My mother was the best match and we went into surgery on January 21, 1973.
After the transplant I lived a healthy, active life for 25 years. During this time I finished my University education earning an M.A. degree; worked in nonprofit service organizations; and grew up as an adult, gradually learning what disability is all about. It was a wonderful time, and I am so grateful for how much life I had the opportunity to live.
In the late 1990's my mother’s donated kidney began a decline and I was placed back on the UNOS waiting list. I was again faced with the likely result of living with a kidney machine. But then something nearly miraculous happened. A family donated the kidney of their child who died too soon, and the kidney was a match for me.
The second transplant took place at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the results were excellent. I was given another lease on life with a new kidney that worked extremely well. Since that transplant I have completed a second degree (seminary), worked more with disabilities and am now on a nonprofit board.
I am grateful every day to my mother for my first 25 years and to the unknown deceased donor who has extended and enhanced my life.