UW Health Celebrates Its 1,500th Pancreas Transplant

The UW Health Pancreas Transplant Program recently celebrated its 1,500th pancreas transplant, the second-most pancreas transplants completed by any transplant center in the United States.


The second pancreas transplant in the world was done at UW Hospital and Clinics in 1982. The courage these early transplant recipients exhibited, combined with the passion of our researchers, physicians and multi-disciplinary team, is one of the reasons our programs has an international reputation for innovation and excellence. We honor our patients as we move forward in our mission to focus on research that not only improves the current transplant experience, but works to end the realities of living with type 1 diabetes.


Watch this video about the history of UW Health Pancreas Transplant.



Rodney Kuntz, who has been insulin free since his pancreas transplant in 1986, and Thom Nustad, who received the 1,500th pancreas transplant, share their thoughts on this milestone.



In this slide show, pancreas transplant recipients share their explanations of how their transplants gave them the freedom to live (ppt). If you'd like to share your quote or have any questions, please contact Kathy Schultz at kschultz3@uwhealth.org


HummingbirdThe Hummingbird


The hummingbird commonly represents beauty, lightness and strength. Though seemingly fragile it is capable of traveling great distances, stopping in mid-flight and flying backwards; yet is ever vigilant toward its destination. Many cultures see the hummingbird as a symbol of the sweetness of life, and a signal to overcome adversity and be persistent in the pursuit of our dreams.


Like the hummingbird, pancreas transplant recipients must also overcome adversity in hopes of achieving a sweeter life. They must continue to exhibit great strength and tenacity throughout their lives as they honor the gift that has been given to them. We are deeply grateful to our patients and their families for allowing us to walk through this journey with them.


It is our hope that we may someday create a world where all have the freedom to live without type 1 diabetes.