When people learn that Abby Vara gave a kidney to her ailing father last year, they’re invariably shocked.


But the 23-year-old Algonquin College student just shrugs off the praise.


“It’s weird when people say I did something amazing,” she said.


In 1993, her father, Erampamoorthy Varaprasatham, was diagnosed with a neurological disorder.

He suffered progressive diabetes, gout, epilepsy, vision loss, paralysis, strokes, and finally, kidney failure.

Hemodialysis took a toll on Varaprasatham’s body. Although he was on a list to receive a cadaver kidney, the family began exploring the possibility of a living donor.

The whole family was tested, and Vara, who was 19 at the time, was a perfect match.

“I was very happy that it was me,” Vara recalled. But because they had to wait for Varaprasatham’s health to stabilize, the surgery took place several years later, on June 12, 2009.

A year later, Vara’s father is “active and doing well.

“My goal is to help people who are thinking of donating and sharing my story,” she said. “I want to let them know that it’s so worthwhile. One thing is to understand the risks, but my dad is worth the world, and we had such an amazing outcome from it.”