Woman Donates Kidney to Firefighter Who Helped Her Family
They bumped into each other 2 years after her emergency, and learned they were a match.
Becca Bundy considered Bill Cox her hero. Bill was the first person on the scene when Becca's daughter had a medical emergency two years ago at the family's home in Minnesota.
Now Becca is Bill's hero. After a chance meeting, she was able to give him one of her kidneys in a life-saving transplant.
Rewind to August 2016. Becca's 1-year old daughter was having a seizure, and Bill, who is trained as a first responder with the Bearville Volunteer Fire Department, rushed to the scene and calmed everyone down until paramedics got there.
The two met again in 2018 when Becca was at a benefit where Bill was serving as a bartender. Bill was wearing a T-shirt that said "My Name is Bill. I'm in end stage KIDNEY FAILURE And in need of a KIDNEY." After a short conversation, they realized they had the same blood type and Becca promised to get tested. She was a match! "I just said I'm the one, I know it," she told KARE-TV in Minneapolis .
Bill's t-shirt caught Becca's attention during a chance encounter 2 years after they first met.
Bill was born with one kidney, and with his only organ failing he was on dialysis. "There was a sense of urgency to get a transplant because a 66-year-old on dialysis does not do well long-term on dialysis," Dr. Raja Kandaswamy, the director of the kidney and pancreas transplant program with University of Minnesota Health, told CNN . "The mortality is high once they remain on dialysis for a few years."
Dr. Kandaswamy and his team performed the transplant in late February, and so far everything is great. Becca and Bill's families are now close. "She's an angel," Bill told KARE. Becca's grateful too. "I feel blessed to be chosen to be on his journey with him."
Becca's daughters' artwork adorns Bill's refrigerator.
(Images: Becca Bundy, Bill Cox)
Don't forget about the Pittsburgh-area mother of three we've been profiling who needs a kidney transplant. Watch Sparkt founder Marty Griffin's stories on Geri Whalen. Maybe you can be her angel?
You can help:
- Find out if you're a match for Geri or others waiting for lifesaving transplants: Allegheny Health Network Institute Kidney Donor Program. 412-359-4441
- Help support Geri and her family at: Geri's Journey at the National Foundation for Transplants website