Why HGTV's Tiffany Brooks Needed A Kidney Transplant

Tiffany Brooks is fast becoming one of the most talked-about stars of the home renovation network HGTV. Following her "HGTV Design Star" win in 2013, Brooks made her mark on the likes of "Design at your Door," "Rock the Block," and "Smart Home 2020," per House Beautiful. The Chicago-based interior designer was finally tapped to front her own show, "$50K Three Ways," in 2021 — and not a moment too soon, either. 

As HGTV president Jane Latman enthused in a press release, "Her magnetic personality and classic design style with an edgy twist has made Tiffany one of our most popular stars." HuffPost points out how Brooks' creativity, combined with her well-honed business acumen, helped the HGTV star build her own empire, and, thanks to "50K Three Ways," the whole world is getting a taste of just how talented she is. 

As Brooks asserted, "I can dream it up, but to install it and implement it, you need that organization and you need those business skills to make things work." 

With over 150,000 followers on Instagram at the time of this writing, it's clear that fans are inspired by Brooks' home life, too. It might shock you to learn, though, that, behind the scenes, she's been battling life-threatening health issues for most of her life, which ultimately led to an organ transplant.

The $50K Three Ways star has been battling diabetes for decades

In 2013, HGTV star Tiffany Brooks wrote a blog for Yay Decor, sharing the reality of welcoming her son, Ayden, into the world a decade prior. 

"I was lying 7.5 months pregnant in a hospital bed at Northwestern University," she recalled. "I have had juvenile diabetes since the age of 6 and it was now taking a toll on my kidneys, and my unborn son. They told me that once I deliver, my kidneys would be in a downward spiral that they could not stop."

Ayden was ultimately delivered four weeks premature, with labor inevitably induced because Brooks' body simply couldn't handle the stress of waiting any longer. Although the little boy quickly gained strength, Brooks lost most of her kidney function. Immediately after giving birth, the home renovation expert was monitored at home, but she was later rushed to back the hospital and put on dialysis when the situation worsened.

After five months, during which everybody was tested to see if they were a match for a kidney transplant, Brooks finally got the good news and received her new organ from her brother in February 2004. Happily, the following year, she got a working pancreas, too. As HGTV notes, since receiving her transplants, Brooks has been able to focus more fully on her health, getting fitter and stronger with each year that passes. 

Tiffany Brooks remains incredibly close with her son, Ayden

Distractify confirms that Tiffany Brooks is a vocal supporter of the nonprofit organization JDRF, which researches Type 1 diabetes. Moreover, her son, Ayden, was also diagnosed with the disease as a child, so they've bonded over living with it. The mother-son duo is incredibly close, with Tiffany posting in honor of Ayden's 19th birthday in August 2022. Alongside a video of the youngster, she wrote, "How the fq are you 19 Sir?! I love you. I'm proud of you. I support you."

The Daily Herald argues that part of Tiffany's star appeal is that she's a cool mom, with fellow HGTV star David Bromstad gushing, "There's something about her that's very starlicious. When she smiles, she lights up the room. And that laugh. She's just fun." She is completely self-taught, too, so the co-sign from a massive home renovation network has been a major boon for her business and, indeed, her life in general.

Funnily enough, for her audition tape, Tiffany turned the attention to her own house at the time. "I was living with my mom, my brother, my husband and my son," she recalled. "The furniture had marks and scratches. People don't even pick up cups. I make spaces beautiful for everyone else, but my house is a hot mess. But I guess they liked it." 

Evidently, HGTV did, since the home renovation expert and working mom is now a fan favorite.