Lakeside teacher meets teen who received her kidney donation

Posted at 5:02 PM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 21:05:35-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Lakeside mother made a life-changing sacrifice for a teenager she had never met.

“I went into this not knowing if I would ever meet the family,” said Tiffany Jokerst of the surgery.

Jokers, a math teacher, has spent her life giving to others. She was web surfing when she noticed a post that would push her to do even more.

“I actually saw a story online about a little girl who needed a kidney,” said Jokerst.

Without hesitation, Jokerst launched into the process, only to learn she was not a match to the girl. However, Jokerst was a match to 17-year-old Alejandro Hernandez.

“Alejandro has been struggling with kidney disease all his life, finally his kidneys failed,” said Dr. Elizabeth Ingulli of Rady Children’s Hospital.

The hospital currently has 29 patients on its transplant waiting list.

Jokerst agreed to the surgery and Hernandez received the transplant he desperately needed.

“I can play soccer, work out, hang out with my friends,” Hernandez said.

Jokerst and Hernandez met for the first time Tuesday. Their biological bond is undeniable and they hope their new friendship lasts a lifetime.

“I’m so happy,” Hernandez said.