Health Check: Organ donation

Lisa Pappas is enjoying the recent beautiful spring weather, taking a walk behind her house and checking the herbs she planted.

"I'm able to enjoy life, not just live it," she said.

That was before she went into kidney failure. It all started when she was a child.

"I've had diabetes since I was 4 and (my kidneys) gradually began failing. When I was about 25, (doctors) really started following them closely," Pappas said.

Then eight years ago, she had a kidney transplant.

"Proactively, before I had to start dialysis. And unfortunately, I had some complications and about a year later, I started dialysis," she said.

Then on Feb. 26, 2008, she had a second kidney transplant. It was successful.

Pappas takes a bunch of pills twice a day, but she said it's a small price to pay for a new kidney and life.

"It's something that changed my life. I went from being hooked up to a dialysis machine three nights a week for eight hours to living my life again. It really made a huge difference. I feel so much better," she said.

According to the Rhode Island Organ Donor Awareness Coalition, more than 110,000 men, women and children currently await life-saving organ transplants in the U.S.