Researchers and patients tell the stories behind their fight to cure kidney disease

Eunice with her husband and kidney donor, Mike

“In 2008, I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at one of the most promising times in my life. Suffering from gout, leg cramps, headaches, and inflammation, I was just starting my masters degree classes at USC while working as an administrative manager and assistant to a dean at the school.

With a lot of love, support, and strength from my husband Mike, daughter Christina, and “bonus” daughter Samantha, I managed to go through dialysis and received a precious kidney from Mike in 2009.

My story is a testament to the importance of research and the miracle of modern science. My husband and I were not a blood match, but our tissue match resulted in a successful transplant and a healthy life for me. I am now thriving with my own business and a masters degree in education from USC.

This Valentine’s Day, My Kidney Wish is to see an increase in kidney transplant research so that many more patients can find matches, receive transplants, and enjoy long, healthy lives with the ones they love. Please join us in our fight to cure kidney disease by donating today.”

Eunice Clarke

Dr. Laura Perin

“My decision to become a scientist was inspired by my high school biology teacher. She opened my eyes to the beauty of biology and science. I was always fascinated by the kidneys since these organs are complex and challenging. Finding a cure for patients who suffer from kidney disease became more personal when I met my husband. He has polycystic kidney disease and we fight every day hoping to delay the moment of his transplant.

My kidney wish is to be able to help children and adult patients that suffer from renal disease. I am convinced that if we all work together we will make dialysis and transplant a story from the past. Please join us in our fight to cure kidney disease by donating today.”

Dr. Laura Perin, Assistant Professor of Research Urology, Keck School of Medicine of USC, Co-Director of the GOFARR Laboratory, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles


Nuria Pastor-Soler, M.D., Ph.D.

“My career in science was inspired by two women – Marie Curie and my grandmother, who suffered from kidney disease. Determined to take on the daunting task of understanding kidney physiology, I set out to become a kidney doctor and researcher.

My Kidney Wish is to improve patients’ lives by finding more treatments and cures for kidney disease. I am proud of the important work we are undertaking at the USC/UKRO Kidney Research Center. With your financial support, we will continue to have the freedom to take on kidney disease with bold and creative approaches and exciting cross-collaborations. Please donate to UKRO today.”

Dr. Nuria Pastor-Soler, Associate Professor of Medicine, Assistant Dean of Mentoring for the Keck School of Medicine of USC


Dr. Janos Peti-Peterdi

“My career choice was clear from the very beginning, and it came from deep down, from my roots. My birth was a miraculous gift to a mother who has suffered from kidney disease since her twenties. With enormous strength and faith, she managed to carry on for over 30 years before entering the end stage of renal disease. I was there for her as a little boy, baking and bringing her cookies when visiting her in many hospitals. Later on, as a young medical doctor, I was able to be there, holding her hand, when she received her first hemodialysis treatment, when she had a cardiac arrest and grand seizures, and for her kidney transplant.

My Kidney Wish is to find a cure for chronic kidney disease so that others won’t suffer as my mother has. It is my great honor to be involved in the efforts of UKRO and I am eager to help accomplish its ultimate mission—finding a cure for kidney disease. Please donate to life-saving kidney research today.”

Dr. Janos Peti-Peterdi, Professor of Physiology, Neuroscience Director of the ZNI Multiphoton Core Facility, Keck School of Medicine of USC


Zhongwei Li, PhD

“My grandmother has chronic kidney disease because of her diabetes. She is the reason I am working as a researcher in the field of kidney regenerative medicine.

My Kidney Wish is to generate a kidney-assistance device from stem cells that can replace key functions of the kidney, eliminating the need for dialysis or transplant. Kidney transplants are very limited and many patients die while they’re still waiting for organs. There’s an urgent need for us to find alternative ways to replace the kidneys. Please support cutting-edge kidney research by donating to UKRO this holiday season.”

Dr. Zhongwei Li, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC


Dr Ken Hallows

“When I was a kid, my best friend developed a kidney disease that caused massive total body swelling. He had to be hospitalized and was out of school for several weeks. He was fortunate to be cured over time by treatment with steroids. That scary first introduction to kidney disease inspired me to become a kidney researcher. With 1 in 7 people suffering from kidney disease today, the need for research is absolutely vital!

My Kidney Wish is to end suffering caused by childhood kidney diseases. Please support crucial kidney research and donate to UKRO in honor of your loved ones this holiday season.”

Dr. Ken Hallows, Director, USC/UKRO Kidney Research Center, Professor of Medicine, Chief, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Keck School of Medicine of USC