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Family illness inspires CTX woman to donate stem cells

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Posted at 6:38 PM, Jul 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-04 20:46:34-04

Sometimes traumatic events can inspire a person to do great things.

Keith Steward was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease in the summer of 1998.

After seven months of dialysis and eventually receiving a kidney transplant from a non-related living donor in 2007, Steward never knew how the ordeal would impact his entire family. 

Allison Medrano, Steward's daughter, is a sixth-grade teacher, blood and stem cell donor. She was inspired to donate after years of watching her father battle sickness. 

"We might not always know what happens to our blood, stem cells, kidney's or our organs once we pass them along, but you never know when you're benefiting somebody," said Medrano.

Grateful for her father's second chance at life, Medrano has always looked for opportunities to donate since she was a teenager. When there is a need, she does what she can to donate as soon as possible.

"The incident that happened in Gatesville last week, I said 'I can't get in there to help, but one of the easiest things I can do is give blood.' They're asking for donations and so that's what I did," said Medrano.

Her message is simple.

"I preach kindness a lot in my classroom, and I always tell them, you shouldn't want anything in return," said Medrano.

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