BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB/CNN Newsource) -- The last time Cheryl Yurek applied for her driver’s license she happily signed her name next to the box that read “Organ donor,” just as she’s done for years, often mindlessly, but with good intention.
She never expected it would lead her to wearing a hospital gown at dawn with her nerves tingling. Cheryl is prepped for surgery — a procedure that will give a woman she met mere months ago her kidney — and the chance to live a normal life.
“This is it,” Cheryl said Thursday morning before surgery, with the orange sun splashing her face, her bright stocking feet dangling from the hospital bed. “There’s no backing out. There’s no stopping this one now. We’re full on.”
Two days before marked the first time Cheryl and her kidney recipient Gail Kleparek had met face to face, after corresponding via Facebook and phone for the past seven months.
Gail has been on almost daily dialysis for the past three years, after radiation and chemotherapy to kill her breast cancer also killed her kidneys, which had been degenerating and failing since her 20s.
“It was life-consuming,” Gail said. “Every five hours I had to do [dialysis], for a half hour, 45 minutes. It was like, I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t go out anywhere without having to plan around that.” Continue reading
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