Real Life Stories

Antonela Kasic

Pittsburgh, PA

High-school cheerleader

Waiting for a transplant

I was born in Croatia, but I live in Pittsburgh because of my illness.

When I was younger, I got really sick. My whole small bowel had to be removed. My parents traveled all over Europe looking for organ transplant surgeons. They really couldn’t find any, so we wound up traveling to Pittsburgh a lot. After flying back and forth for a while, they decided to move our family here to be near my doctors.

Waiting by the Phone
I’m on the waiting list for an organ transplant that can save my life. Being on that list is kind of scary. I know I might be out with my friends and get a call from my parents saying we have to rush to the hospital. If there’s an organ that matches, we can’t pass it up — it’s a once-in-a-lifetime shot kind of thing. Waiting for that call is stressful for my parents and my brother, too.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime shot.

One of my best friends drives already, and the first time she ever drove me anywhere, I made her give me her license to see if she was an organ donor. I joked with her that if she wasn’t, I wouldn’t get in the car. But she was, so we went to eat, of course!

To me, organ donation means you could save somebody’s life. Maybe my life, or somebody you care about — it could be your daughter, mom, dad, sister or friend. There are a lot of people on the list who are waiting like me.

Some Day
I’m attending Duquesne University and one day I want to be a nurse at a children’s hospital. And after that, I could be an International Life Flight jet nurse, going from country to country to help people. Eventually, I want to get married and start a family.

If there are enough organ donors in Pennsylvania, I’ll be able to do all these things. But I have to wait for that phone call.


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