Experiences that met expectations

>Before Destani Anderson served as the ballgirl at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game last weekend, her grandmother told me that she believed it was the chance of a lifetime.

Destani rebounded balls for celebrities during warm-ups and passed out water and towels to them during the game. She met Terrell Owens, Magic Johnson, and Mario Lopez, but her favorite encounter was with Drake.

“I went up to him and said, ‘I’m your biggest fan. I love you so much,’” said Destani. “And he autographed my shirt and gave me a hug. It was awesome.”

Another life-changing experience

Less than a year ago, Destani would not have been able to have an experience like that. Her end stage renal disease prevented her from doing “the things I wanted to do.” She couldn’t even sleep over at friends’ homes, because she had to undergo dialysis at her home every night.

But in Sept. 2009, Destani became the 367th recipient in the kidney transplant program at Children’s, which is a leader in the number of pediatric transplants performed each year in Texas. Her life made at least a 175-degree, if not 180-degree, turn following that surgery.

“I feel like a new person,” Destani said. “I can’t explain it, but once I got the new kidney, everything just became clear.”

So, Destani is a pretty fortunate girl. She has had two “chance-of-a-lifetime” experiences in the last six months. How many people can say that?


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