Family that owns Deer Park restaurant searching for kidney to save mother

The twin Almeida girls want more time with their mother, but kidney disease stands in the way.
Javier Almeida, Lorena Vazquez and their twin daughters. The family is searching for a kidney...
Javier Almeida, Lorena Vazquez and their twin daughters. The family is searching for a kidney match for Lorena, who has kidney disease.(Provided)
Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 7:25 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DEER PARK, Ohio (WXIX) - An Anderson family is on an intense, emotional search for a kidney donor.

Lorena Vazquez is matriarch of the Almeida family. And she has chronic kidney disease.

“The majority of the time, I feel very tired,” Lorena said. “Low energy. A lot of pain my arms and legs.”

Lorena manages to push through the pain to run her family-owned restaurant, Arrechissimo in Deer Park.

“Our food is Venezuelan,” Javier Almeida, Lorena’s husband, said. “The heart of this restaurant is Lorena. She’s the one who cooks. She’s what Latinos like to say adds flavor to our food.”

Despite illness and hospitalization, Lorena’s daughters give her the extra push to keep fighting.

“They’re my whole world,” Lorena said. “They’re the reason why we are here, and that gives me drive every day.”

Arrechissimo has been open for eight years. The Almeida family opened it two years after they moved from Venezuela because one of their twin daughters needed primary care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Victoria Almeida says her twin, Maria, is doing well and is actually away at her first year of college. Victoria leaves for college on Thursday, but she isn’t leaving town without making another push to help her mother find a kidney donor.

“Giving my mom the gift of life is giving her many more years to keep growing with us, to keep seeing my sister and I go through school, not only seeing us graduate high school like she did this year, but see us graduate college, see us have a family, get married...” Victoria said.

She says there’s no gift big enough to repay her mother for all her sacrifices, but finding a kidney match would be a start.

“She’s been on the list, the transplant list for five years,” Victoria said. “We’ve been waiting for a kidney donor for these five years.”

This would be Lorena’s third transplant.

Her family says a new kidney would mean no time at a dialysis center and more time creating memories with family.

If you’d like to see if you’re a match or help the family, you can reach them at 513.265.3696 or visit Victoria’s Facebook page.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.

Copyright 2021 WXIX. All rights reserved.