Andres and Evelyn Sandoval are the team leaders of team “Share Your Spare” for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois’ Walk for Kidneys at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Their story begins in October of 2018, when Andres decided it was time to pay a visit to his doctor after he had been battling severe headaches for quite some time. Thinking this was just going to be a routine check-up, they were extremely surprised to find out that Andres had hypertension. Being so young and in fairly good shape, his doctor wanted to further investigate these results and sent Andres for a full work-up of blood work. Later, that same week, the couple was faced with the terrifying and unexpected news that Andres has IGA Nephropathy; a kidney disease that causes local inflammation of the organs that ultimately results in the kidney’s inability to filter wastes from a person’s blood. At this time, he was told he was going to need a kidney transplant within the next year, or his health would steadily decline to the point of needing to begin dialysis. His best odds laid in the possibility of finding a living donor.
In November of 2018, Andres began the transplant evaluation process at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Within a month, he was officially listed on the Illinois Transplant Waiting List, which at the current moment has an average wait time of seven years (give or take). After sharing the news with their families, a number of people graciously came forward, wanting to know more about the living donation process and how they could help.
The first person to be tested to find out if they were a candidate for living donation was Andres’ cousin and best friend, Jesus Martinez. It was in early March of 2019 that the couple learned that Jesus was indeed the perfect match and that he would not only be Andres’ living donor, but in their eyes, his savior. They say they have never been or felt more truly and infinitely grateful.
We are excited to share that Andres and Jesus are scheduled for kidney transplantation/donation this May! What Andres is most looking forward to after his transplant is experiencing his “new normal” life with his wife, Evelyn and 2 children, Noah (5) and Mila (17 mo.). Having the energy to run around with his kids, get back to his passion and hobby on the soccer field and to really just live each day going forward with gratitude and enjoy what this second chance and new chapter in life is going to offer.
The Sandovals say, "our family’s biggest take-away from this life-changing, whirlwind of a journey through kidney disease and transplantation is that disease does not discriminate. We never once thought or imagined 'that could be us.' Listen to your body, take initiative and be proactive about your health!"
"We are very much looking forward to celebrating Andres’ new kidney and transplant with our ever-so supportive and loving family & friends on June 23rd!"
We're thrilled for Evelyn, Andres and their children! Currently, they are the top fundraising team for the Walk for Kidneys!! We look forward to meeting their entire family on June 23 and wish them all the best with the upcoming transplant!