TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Taking their driving test can be stressful for a teen, and her family.
But the test Robin Schrader, 17, went through a year ago was far more terrifying for everyone.
"It was so shocking. I didn’t know what to do,” she said.
Robin failed a physical, which led doctors to discover a rare disease was destroying her kidneys. She needed a transplant.
Her mom, Cirila Schrader, desperate for help so she wrote a plea for a donor on their SUV.
Hundreds responded. Still, finding a match took a year. That’s when Michelle Hanzie, a mom of three and respiratory therapist, came along. She was Robin’s perfect match.
“When I see her, my heart just warms,” Hanzie said. “I just love to see her and see that she’s healthy.”
A year after transplant, Robin’s kidney is chugging along, just as if it were her own. Robin felt her body snapping back to normal almost immediately after the surgery.
Her mom couldn’t believe the difference.
"I’m listening to her dance and sing, it’s the greatest feeling and she can do whatever she wants,” Cirila said.
Robin plans to take full advantage of this chance.
She wants to become a pediatric nurse on the seventh floor of Children’s Hospital in Phoenix -- the same floor where she was treated. She’s gone from 22 pills a day to seven. And planning for a future she almost didn’t have. Hanzie will be there, rooting her on.
"Never, not once, did I look back. Best decision I ever made,” Hanzie said.
Three women have been bound by a story of life - and love - two years in the making. But it’s a story that is nowhere near the end.
To learn more about organ donation, contact Donate for Life Arizona.