A new kidney for my dad

Back in 2012, my father, Dan Mendoza, was diagnosed with hairy cell leukemia, a very rare cancer of the blood in which there is an excess production of white blood cells. Luckily, he had the opportunity to undergo experimental chemotherapy treatment through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland and has been in remission for six years now. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy has taken a negative toll on his immune system and his other internal organs-- most severely, his kidneys. As of now, my dad has reached Stage 5 (End Stage Renal Disease) of his Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD); both of his kidneys are less than 10% functional and cannot filter the toxins out of his body, as normally functioning kidneys do. His condition also puts him at risk for deterioration and complications with his other organs.

To help filter out the toxins, my dad has just started dialysis. Although it is a very common and vital procedure for those with CKD, living with this condition heavily impacts his quality of life, as well as his independence. Dialysis requires patients to spend up to 12 hours a week at the hospital so that a machine can manually do the things a normal kidney is meant to do on its own. Committing to a rigid dialysis schedule does not give my dad the freedom to do the things he enjoys, including going to work to support our family, exercising, and spending quality time with our family and friends. He must also adjust to a strict diet to keep his kidneys from deteriorating any further. Also, because we need to maintain a clean and sterile environment to avoid the chance of infection, we have to give away our family dog, Drizzy.

The ultimate goal is to save enough money to be able to pay for a kidney transplant for my dad. The average wait time for a kidney donor in the United States is 10 years because there are way more patients in need of a new kidney than there are donors. Going through an invasive transplant like this is more successful the younger the patient is; sooner is better than later, especially because of the current and failing state of my dad’s kidneys. However, we are hoping to send him to St. Luke’s Medical Center in the Philippines because there are more donors than patients in need of organs. So there is a much shorter waiting period for those in need of a new kidney; instead of waiting years for a donor, the process may only take a couple of months. The funds we hope to raise in the next few months will cover the cost of the transplant and surgery for my dad and the donor, as well as cost for travel, food,  accommodations, expensive medicines and recovery.

My little sister, Lauren, and I, hope to be able to create more memories and pass milestones while our dad is still with us. Anything helps, and can progress us towards prolonging the time we have to spend with our dad.

For any personal cards or letters you’d like to share with Dan, please send them to the following address:
Danilo Mendoza 2683 Ramsdell Place San Jose, CA 95148

In addition, for any emails or other inquiries, please contact Danielle at:
[email redacted]

  • Julian Chavez 
    • $6 
    • 28 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 38 mos
  • Eric Pham 
    • $20 
    • 40 mos
  • Colleen Ewanich 
    • $100 
    • 40 mos
  • Sally Celestial De Guzman 
    • $50 
    • 41 mos
See all


Danielle Mendoza 
San Jose, CA
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