Gironda, 63, owner of the eponymous Italian eatery on Center Street, had a kidney transplant Nov. 11 at San Francisco's California Pacific Medical Center after waiting around 3½ years for a new organ.
But the story behind the swap is an unusual one.
Gironda's longtime friend, John Williams, owner of Sunrise Excavation and Paving in Redding, offered up his kidney, but it wasn't a match.
It did, however, still get Gironda the new organ he needed.
The hospital has a program in which willing donors whose organs don't match their friend's or family member's can enter a pool in the hope that someone else is going through the same ordeal.