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St. Mary’s therapist honored for kidney donation to Tucson teenager

Oct 30, 2018

Carondelet Health Network’s Hanzie inducted into Tenet Heroes 2018 Hall of Fame

Cirila, Robin and MichelleTUCSON (Oct. 30, 2018) – Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital Respiratory Therapy professional Michelle Hanzie, who donated a kidney to a local teenager, has been inducted into the Tenet Heroes 2018 Hall of Fame, the company’s highest honor for colleagues.

Hanzie was recognized for her considerate gesture to help then-15-year-old Robin Schrader of Tucson. The once-active teenager had been diagnosed with kidney failure following a routine sports physical. Her family was desperate to find a matching organ for a transplant.

Hanzie learned about Schrader’s need for a kidney during a family cookout, and after some research, reached out to ask to be included as a potential donor.

“When I got the call that I was 100 percent a match, and I cried,” said Hanzie. Schrader’s family had been doing everything they could to find a kidney donor, including messages written in shoe polish on the back window of the family car and banners at local athletic fields.

“I was going to be on dialysis forever, and Michelle didn’t even think twice about helping me get back to living a normal life,” said Schrader. “Once I found out she was a match, I was ecstatic.”

“She gave my daughter her life, gave my daughter her kidney, without any hesitation,” said Robin’s mother, Cirila Munyon. “It was the scariest thing I’ve been through. I was just happy that my daughter was going to get a new life. It was definitely a rollercoaster, but it was worth it.”

Now 17, Schrader is back to activities like hiking and surfing.

“There are over 100,000 ‘Robins’ out there, from all walks of life that are in the same position as her, needing a transplant. The only thing different is I knew about her, and I knew I could do something for her. It’s really a part of my life now, a really important part of my life,” said Hanzie.

“Michelle has inspired us through her actions to make a positive and meaningful difference in our community,” said Mark Benz, chief executive officer, Carondelet Health Network. “We are grateful for Michelle’s efforts, selfless nature and commitment to compassionate care, and we are proud to work alongside her.”

Organ donation statistics

  • 114,000+ on the national transplant waiting list
  • 34,770 transplants were performed in 2017
  • Another person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes
  • One donor can save up to eight lives
  • Organs people are waiting for: Kidney (83%), Liver (12.1%), Heart (3.5%), Lung (1.2%), Other (2.5%)

The Tenet Heroes program celebrates those individuals who make a meaningful impact within their respective communities that goes above and beyond their daily job responsibilities. Nominated by fellow colleagues, Tenet Heroes exemplify the company’s core values of quality, integrity, service, innovation, and transparency. Since 2008, Tenet has recognized nearly 1,400 Heroes, 88 of whom have been inducted into the Tenet Heroes Hall of Fame.

More information on organ donation can be found at dnaz.org.

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