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Las Cruces grad with liver transplant hopes to inspire others, serve in the medical field

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - With gratitude for the doctors who saved her life as an infant, a Las Cruces teen graduating Friday plans to become a pediatrician and help children of all ages.

“I think it’s just important to give back to the community that’s given a lot to you," said Sienna Torrez, a graduate of Arrowhead Park Medical Academy at Arrowhead Park Early College High School.

At only nine months old, Torrez told ABC-7 she had a liver transplant. As an infant, she said she was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a rare disease that affects the liver and bile ducts. While attending Arrowhead Park Early College High School, she created a support system for other recipients of transplants.

“I handed her off to the nursing staff at Stanford not knowing if we were going to see her again," recalled her father, Tony Torrez. "Now, seeing her on the stage saying her speech, it’s a really proud moment for me.”

"I’m amazed at how accomplished she is," said her mother, Leila Gomez. "I’ve seen her hard work. Her determination. I’m so proud.”

Torrez is active in HOSA, Jardín de los Niños and is the president of her school's National Honor Society. She now plans plans to attend the University of New Mexico's combined B.A./M.D. Degree program.

When asked about her advice for students, Torrez said, "Really cherish the moment you're in instead of continuously chasing something else. Cherish the people you have now. We are living in a world where we are constantly wanting more."

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.

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