Marta Azmitia

1. We’ll begin with your career. How was your experience of serving in Congress?

I never served in Congress. I am a Real Estate broker and my connection to Congress is through the Act for the Disposal and Transplant of Organs and Tissues

2. How did Donaré come about?

My daughter died in August 2013. I wanted to donate her organs, but it wasn’t possible. She committed suicide and everything could have been used. I got together with a friend, we contacted another friend of mine who’s a doctor, and we started from there.

3. What contributions have you made possible for people with renal problems?

We helped with the equipment from the Unidad de Trasplante Renal and the equipment from the Histocompatibility Laboratory at the San Juan de Dios Hospital. We’re asking for the repeal of the Transplants Law now in force, so that we can implement another one, depending on the plenary session.

4. How has the role of the foundation changed over the course of its existence?

The foundation was begun in 2004, with the idea of creating a culture of organ donation, but when we learned how precarious the situation was in terms of equipment, we decided to help with equipment as well. I believe that the most important thing we’ve accomplished is that today we can talk about organ transplants like a normal thing, and the topic (of organ transplants) is more and more known and that we’re at the point of being able to do liver and bone marrow transplants, which can only be done in Costa Rica, but we’re arranging an international agreement.

5. What is your motivation for keep working to help these people?

The memory of Ana Lucia and the idea of payback that we should all give to (the country of) Guatemala, which gives us so much every day.

6. What do you believe is the biggest obstacle for people who are coming together to support people with kidney disorders?

(The biggest obstacles are) the unfamiliarity of the topic, the distrust of institutions, fear of having everything taken away; but slowly the situation is changing, and now we have a great agreement with the Hospital General, which makes us believe that, with good will, everything is possible.

7. How do you plan to expand the works of the foundation?

We wish to build self-sustaining relationships, and, of course, we wish that all needed transplants are performed. If we achieve these two things, we’ll start working on an Eye Bank, and the final, I believe, would be (a transplant bank) for hearts and lungs.

8. How do you plan to convert the San Juan de Dios hospital into the official center of transplants in Guatemala?

Through sustainable programs, which will stand the test of time, getting rid of leadership roles and working together as a team, which is already what is being done.

9. What is the biggest reward from this work?

The smile of a transplantee, after he or she has been at the edge of death and is now back to being a productive member of society in our country.