Héctor Fión is another survivor of kidney failure. His fight has been arduous, but highly repaid. He was diagnosed with diabetes as an adolescent, and Héctor had to confront many difficulties before he accepted his illness. In his 20s, he received a diagnosis of kidney failure which completely changed his perspective on life. After three rejected transplants and almost four years of medicine and treatment, he underwent a successful transplant in IGSS, with a kidney donated by his brother. A short time later, to guarantee his wellbeing, Héctor also underwent a pancreatic transplant at New York Presbyterian Hospital. The transplant required thousands of dollars, which Héctor raised with the help and support of friends, family, and other kind-hearted people. Today, Héctor is a successful businessman. He tells us his story:
Escalando: How did your life change when you received your diagnosis?
Héctor Fión: At the beginning, it was hard for me to accept. Nevertheless, at the middle of being treated for the disease, my faith got stronger. I put everything in the hands of God and I promised myself to fight for and take care of my health. My admiration for my father also grew, because he had died from a severe illness, yet never let himself be beaten down by the bad points and continued being a man of integrity and happiness.
E: How did your friends take it?
HF: At all times, their faith was total and unconditional. When I needed money for treatments, they got together as a team to put on concerts, sales and all kinds of other activities to get the funds together. I feel very thankful to them.
E: What did your family say?
HF: At the beginning, they always had doubts. Nobody knew what to do and how to go about getting me better. They were sad, partly because of the memory of my father’s death. Nevertheless, these feelings strengthened our faith so that we could continue looking for a way to restore my health. Their faith and support helped me to survive.
E: How do you take care of yourself now?
HF: After the transplant, my energy and resilience got better than ever before. To maintain my health, I do a lot of sports. I eat well balanced meals, and, of course, I take all of my medicines and treatments carefully.
E: Have you met other transplantees? What kind of relationship do you have with them?
HF: Yes, I met a girl and a boy who had had transplants. I helped them to get medicines for their treatments. I was very saddened when the girl died, and it was clear that in her case there had been medical negligence. However, the boy is very healthy and happy and I am still in contact with his father. These children have motivated me to look for new ways to help people with kidney disease.
E: What has been your biggest challenge?
HF: This disease has been a constant battle that has been difficult to accept, but one in which I involved myself completely. It was difficult to get the money together to pay for my pancreatic transplant but this effort doesn’t compare to how desperately I wanted to stay alive, even when I was in very poor health.
E: What do you want to do in the future?
HF: I want to be a successful businessman and the director of my own foundation in support of those who suffer from this disease.
E: ¿What do you like to do in your free time?
HF: I have always enjoyed sports, especially tennis. I also enjoy traveling, but I get the most satisfaction from helping others.
E: Tell us about a dream that you have.
HF: I want to create a foundation to help people who need transplants and unite them with potential donors and accessible medical centers. I would like that this kind of initiative were more common, so that people were more knowledgeable about the culture of donating organs and that we could abolish the black market that threatens the integrity and health of many. I would also like to compete in the World Transplant Games in 2015, in Argentina. And finally, I’d have to say that my biggest wish is to be a father.