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Niagara Falls mother receives kidney transplant after being diagnosed with stage 5 kidney disease

Elena DePaolo receives kidney transplant
Posted at 4:57 PM, Jul 15, 2022

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Niagara Falls mother finally got the call she had been waiting on.

Twenty-nine-year-old Elena DePaolo was diagnosed with kidney disease, in 2017.

At the time, she had just beat cancer after battling it for seven months.

Depaolo learned someone was a match for her to receive a kidney in May, but did not want to tell anyone because she was afraid it would get canceled again. That was the case in November 2021.

When we spoke with her in November, she told us one kidney did not work at all, and the other kidney only worked at 50-percent.

Doctors told her she had "stage 5" kidney disease, which is considered the "end stage".

The mother had the two-hour procedure done on Monday.

The story gets better: her donor lives 15 minutes away from her home!

Elena DePaolo said, "I met my donor, and she is amazing. I am so grateful for her. It takes a truly selfless person to do what she did for me, and I don't even know her. For her to do it for a complete stranger is just amazing."

What brought the woman to donate was the fact that both of them being adoptive parents.

DePaolo said she was on the waitlist for about a year and half.

The mother and cancer survivor must now quarantine for a month and must adjust to a new diet catered to a now functioning kidney.

She told Pheben Kassahun that the first "big thing" she plans to do is to go skydiving. She said she would try this out next summer.