NATIONAL DONATE LIFE MONTH-SEATTLE-WOMAN SAVES BEST FRIEND BY GIVING HER KIDNEY
Source: KING 5, Seattle
by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News
Posted on April 7, 2010 at 10:27 PM
Updated yesterday at 10:27 PM
SEATTLE - It's national "Donate Life Month" - a campaign raising awareness on the importance of organ donation. Two women already are well aware of the need. They're best friends, and one just got the chance to save the other's life.
Two weeks after her kidney transplant, Gloria Thiessen met with her doctor at Virginia Mason. Her doctor showed her a graph of her creatinine level. Her latest lab results are looking good.
Thiessen has a hereditary condition called poly-cystic kidneys.
"Poly-cystic kidneys is [a condition where] cysts start growing on the kidneys, slowly destroying the kidney," said Thiessen.
A year ago her kidneys started failing. Thiessen started dialysis and lost a lot of her freedom: three days a week, 4 hours each time. Until her best friend of 20 years gave Thiessen her life back.
Today was the first time Thiessen and Cindy Wittmier met up at Virginia Mason for the first time since they left the hospital after the transplant.
"This little sacrifice for me is nothing compared to what you've been through," Wittmier told Thiessen. Wittmier said she decided to give her friend her kidney years ago.
"There's a five-year waiting list for a kidney donor. And you don't know if you're going to make it to get that kidney," said Wittmier.
A normal kidney is 5 ounces. Thiessen's old kidney was 5 pounds and filled with cysts.
How is her new kidney?
"This baby is working out well," said Thiessen patting her side where her new kidney is. "I knew it was going to."
Thiessen said Wittmier is her angel.
"She says God gave us two kidneys," Thiessen says of Wittmier. "We only need one, the other we can donate."
"It feels really good to have done that for her," said a tearful Wittmier. "Really good. I'm glad I was able to."