Kris Tudesko

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Kris Tudesko was living her life like most of the rest of us – with no major health problems back in August of 2000. But, then, for a reason even the doctors couldn’t explain, Kris became very ill and suffered liver failure. Kris kept working at her job as an Administrative Assistant with the Elk Grove Unified School District, up until the first week of December that year. Then at a doctor’s appointment, she was told she had to quit working and check into the hospital.

Just three days later, she and her family were told she had 48 hours to live.

“I knew then, I would either get the transplant or I wasn’t going home,” says Kris. “My family and I prepared for the worst.”

But, Kris was one of the lucky ones. A liver was found in that 48-hour window. Kris knows how fortunate she was. In fact, of the 88,000 people in the United States now waiting for a life saving transplant – one third will die waiting. Kris works to change that fact.

“They say it’s all about what you leave behind in this life,” says Kris. “And what better legacy than to leave life? I encourage everyone to sign up at Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Registry and to tell their family of their wishes.”

Kris is now back to work full time, and enjoys reading, her family and gardening. She and her husband also own a 1600-acre cattle ranch near Sloughhouse.

“I’m extremely grateful to my donor and his family,” says Kris. “I think of them every day and in my heart – say a thank you for the life they have given me.”