No one is absolutely certain why Mancera's kidneys failed 24 years ago, but Santamaria thinks high blood pressure contributed to it.
As a result, Mancera was on the kidney transplant wait list for a couple years and then she asked to be taken off it, Santamaria said.
During the times she was on the list, Mancera did have a couple possible matches, but those kidneys only had a 30 percent chance of functioning, Santamaria said.
"She said she would just endure it and see how long this [dialysis] would last," Santamaria said.
Mancera's four children even offered to be tested for possible matches, too, but Mancera wouldn't hear of it, Santamaria said.
"She said, 'Not my kids,'" Santamaria said. "She said, 'One day, you're going to need them and I don't want you to be down to one kidney.'"