I’ve known Jason Garcia for over 25 years and we’ve been close friends ever since high school. When Jason told us he was going to get screened to see if he was a compatible living donor for our best friend Niem Tran, nobody was surprised. Jason has dedicated the last 20 years to helping others as a massage therapist. When he isn’t doing everything he can to help others, he’s also a husband, a best friend, and a father to three precious girls.
Jason loves his friend Niem, whom he’s known for over 25 years. Niem is a smart, funny guy who is full of life and one of the most generous people we know. He gives so much of himself to others making us laugh, showing up for us when we’re in need, and showing us how to live life fully. When Niem was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, he diligently followed the doctor’s recommendations and orders, making changes to his life to attempt to slow down the progression, all while continuing to be the generous, fun-loving guy we know. Niem made big changes to his life, but stayed the same guy to us.
When Niem started his nightly dialysis in 2016, we knew he was in for a long, difficult process. He would need to receive a kidney transplant, a process which is no small feat. In April 2017, we were elated to find out that Jason was a compatible living donor. We were even more elated to find out the donation coordinating nurse gave him the thumbs up to be a donor. It’s the kind of news you can’t believe no matter how many times someone tells you. I imagine people feel this way when they win the lottery. It couldn’t have happened to two better people. I am so proud and lucky to be friends with these guys.
Jason will be donating a kidney on December 20th. During that time, he will need to recover from the surgery and will not be able to work. As the sole income earner in his household, Jason will need help to cover his expenses and financial commitments. The money received from the donations will be used to cover living expenses, educational and care expenses for his daughters, as well as the miscellaneous cost of living expenses.
Using the American Society of Transplantation financial toolkit, Jason and his family have found they will need $17,500 during this time. Please help us in doing everything we can to help Jason so that he does not have to sacrifice even more to make his life-giving gift. Any amount is appreciated. Even a $10 donation will go a long way.
Your prayers and words of encouragement are equally valued. If the donation amount exceeds Jason’s needs, they will be donating it to the American Kidney Fund (www.kidneyfund.org). Thank you!
For more information on Jason and Niem's journey together, please check out http://www.niemtran.com/?tag=Jason .
Thank you for the tremendous support from everyone who's donated and shared our fundraiser!
We are overwhelmed by your generosity. In order to reflect Jason's doctor's advice to plan for an additional two weeks for recovery, we have increased our fundraising goal accordingly.
Thank you again for your kindness, and for helping us make the transplant possible.
Hi folks, Niem here.
Jason and I met in high school and we have remained friends ever since. Through our best of times, and our worst of times, our tale of togetherness continues to this day, and I'm incredibly grateful beyond words for this.
Why exactly is there a photo of us leaping in the air and bumping at the hip? I don't know. But it's a funny bit of foreshadowing, and I'm glad Khai captured this moment.
So much gratitude to everyone who's shared our story, donated, and helped us get closer and closer to reaching our goal! We thank you, from the bottoms of our hearts and the tops of our kidneys!
Dear GoFundMe Supporters,
Apologies for this long-overdue update.
By now you may have already heard that our transplant was a success! I got a beautiful kidney from a beautiful friend. Months later, I still can’t quite believe it.
We are back at our jobs. Our good health and spirits are bolstered by amazing families, friends, and co-workers.
Jason released his new book "The Perfect TOUCH: A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Success. "As his passion project for the last few years, Jason poured his heart and many a 5am writing session at Philz Coffee into it. I’m grateful I got to provide the cover art.
We thank you, our fundraising partners, for everything. Thank you, Tony for setting up the GoFundMe page. Thank you everyone, for the shares, the donations, the kind comments, and the hope.
Your generosity and support has been truly inspiring and uplifting.
With love and appreciation,
P.S. Here are some links that may be of interest:
Sam’s beautiful photos of our transplant adventures:
My blog has more info on my post-transplant life:
Jason’s new website for "The Perfect TOUCH," his blog, and his teaching schedule:
Thank you again!
Kidneyman Christmas card for Jason