new lease on life

Craig DeSilva
December 26, 2023

Timothy In takes pride in staying active. Once an avid runner, the retired Waipahu High School teacher participated in nearly every Great Aloha Run since it started in 1985. So he was surprised five years ago when his doctor told him that he needed a kidney transplant.

In says the kidney failure may have been partly related to high doses of pain medication while recovering from back surgery. He underwent dialysis and was put on the nationwide kidney donation registry. He even put out a public plea along Nimitz Highway during the 2020 Great Aloha Run, holding a sign that read, “Need a kidney now. Please be a donor.” 

“Many people don’t realize that you can live with just one kidney if it’s healthy enough,” he says.

Timothy and Eve In's plea for a kidney donation at the Great Aloha Run in 2020.

In early 2023, he got the call that a donor was found. He took the next flight to Phoenix to undergo the transplant at the Mayo Clinic. “We waited five years for that call,” says his wife, Eve. “It was a relief. A dream come true.”

In doesn’t need dialysis anymore. He’s undergoing physical therapy to build up his strength. And although he won’t be running in the Great Aloha Run this February, he’s happy to do other activities that he loves – woodworking at home and painting and sketching on the grounds of Pearl Harbor National Memorial. 

Timothy In enjoys sketching at the park.

According to the American Kidney Fund, there are more than 300 people in Hawai'i on the kidney waiting list, but only one in seven receives a transplant every year. In is grateful for his new start in life and credits the support from family and friends and the care from the Mayo Clinic’s medical team for getting him through the procedure. “I thank them for getting me to where I am today,” he says.

“I feel great,” he says. “It’s like getting a new lease on life.”

Want to be an organ donor? 
Visit Legacy of Life to learn how you can help. Or call 808-599-7630 or 1-877-855-0603.

Photos courtesy Timothy In.

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