Bill Miller Bar-B-Q manager donates kidney to save customer’s life

Both are now doing well in recovery

San Antonio – Cecilia Canizanes was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2010. Since she went on dialysis, she must have given out dozens of donor cards asking friends, family and strangers to see if they might be a match to help her get a kidney.

Sophia Parrish, a manager at Bill Miller Bar-B-Q, prides herself in her customer service. That’s how she got to know Canizanes.

Their friendship started when she asked Canizanes why she only wanted a little bit of water with every order.

“Canizanes starts talking, ‘Hello ma’am, how are you?’ And we just like, completely and utterly clicked,” Parrish said.

That friendship developed and continued through the months. For Parrish, Canizanes reminded her of one of her favorite aunts. So when it came down to it, she offered to get tested to see if she was a match.

“I do anything, everything to help anybody. And if I’m able to help somebody, then I will. And that’s what I did. And I said, at least I can do is at least to see if I’m a match,” Parrish said. To her surprise, she was a match and after a conversation with her family, she decided to move forward with the donation.

“It’s in our nature to help people, because if you can’t help people, then why are we here? You know, we need to help each other as much as possible,” Parrish said.

Both are doing well in their recovery.

Michelle Segovia, director of communications for the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, says this year has been successful in getting more people to become registered donors.

“They have the opportunity to save up to eight lives through organ donation,” she said.

To find out more information on how to become a donor, head to

About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.