Young Transplant Survivor Runs the Bases at ‘Home Run for Life’ Game

Young Transplant Survivor Runs the Bases at ‘Home Run for Life’ Game
Jehudiel Mendoza Moreno is an 8-year-old kidney transplant recipient who was honored by Donor Network West at the first Reno Aces ‘Home Run for Life’ game on April 15.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house at Greater Nevada Field as 8-year-old kidney transplant survivor Jehudiel “Judy” Mendoza Moreno threw out the first pitch. After the second inning he ran the bases in front of thousands of cheering Reno Aces fans. Judy, who was treated at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, received a lifesaving kidney transplant in December 2020.

The day was a major feat for Judy, demonstrating his bravery and love for life as he made his way around the field during the 2022 season’s first Home Run for Life game, in partnership with Donor Network West.

The native Nevadan was just two years old when he began experiencing kidney failure. After battling a serious bacterial infection, he underwent years of dialysis treatments and at one point was placed in a medically induced coma. Due to complications related to his health issues, a few of his fingers and part of his foot were amputated.

“Jehudiel’s health issues have changed us,” says Maria Moreno Álvarez, Judy’s mother. “It was very difficult for me to watch him have to go through his health issues and dialysis treatments while his siblings could play. Now his life is less complicated, and we thank his kidney donor and their family. Today, he has a strong desire to live—he is a fighter.”

Judy proved his determination during yesterday’s game. The Home Run for Life program honors brave individuals whose lives have been saved by organ donation. Players from the Reno Aces and the Sacramento River Cats cheered him on, lining the baselines and awaiting his arrival at home plate. He serves as an inspiration for the more than 1,900 children in the United States under the age of 18 who are waiting for the lifesaving gift of organ donation.

“Judy is such a special boy,” says Amy Gallo, MD, surgical director of the Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health. “He doesn’t ask ‘Why me?’ Instead, he’s the kind of kid who faces the world and says, ‘Watch me!’ To see his brave spirit while running the bases at Greater Nevada Field and through his positive attitude every day honors the donor.”

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is a global leader in pediatric kidney transplants. We specialize in treating children whose particular conditions pose challenges that few other medical centers can meet. Learn why our one-year and three-year pediatric kidney transplant patient outcome rates are unsurpassed.


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