Broward Family Knows Importance Of Organ Donations

A Broward family is living proof of the impact organ donations can have. Gabriela Chediak is 18 years old and her brother Gilbert is 21. Both are success stories after getting liver transplants as babies.

Video Transcript

LAUREN PASTRANA: New at 6:00, the month of April is National Donate Life Month that helps bring awareness to the importance of organ donation. CBS 4 Steve Goldstein is here with one family's story. Steve.

STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Hey, Lauren. National Donate Life Month is all about getting the message out. Organ, eye, and tissue donations literally save lives. Susan Chediak is a nurse manager Broward Health, and her kids are living proof of the impact of organ donation can have.

GABRIELA CHEDIAK: I grew up basically knowing that there's a scar on me, and I have a liver that's not mine. And I also have an older brother who has a liver transplant also. The disease is genetic.

STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Gabriela Chediak is 18 years old, and her brother Gilbert is 21. Both are success stories after getting liver transplants as babies. They were less than a year old when diagnosed with PFIC, which is a rare genetic disorder that causes liver damage failure. Now, there are checkups and other things they have to do. For their mom, it's routine.

SUSAN CHEDIAK: They have had a totally normal life. They take their medication every day for the rest of their life. They get blood draws. They get liver biopsies just to make sure they're not rejecting the liver. That it's healthy. But other than that, they've gone to school. My son's 21. He's working at a warehouse.

STEVE GOLDSTEIN: And Gabriela is set to graduate high school and go to college. She appreciates life and all that she has. And doesn't take it for granted.

GABRIELA CHEDIAK: Without this transplant, I wouldn't be here right now. A bunch of my friends, even my brother, we all wouldn't be here right now if somebody hadn't checked that box at the DMV.

STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Susan knows firsthand how important it is, and has her personal message for everyone.

SUSAN CHEDIAK: If you have the opportunity to donate, please do so because you will be saving families. If it wasn't for organ donation, I would not be a mother. I would not have neither one of my children with me.

STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Well, great to see the kids having success and good health now. This Friday is blue and Green Day to help spread the word of National Donate Life Month. You can wear those colors. Steve Goldstein, CBS 4 news.