Former high school football teammates reunite by chance for kidney donation


Alumni from St. Mary's High School reconnect after two decades

Old high school buddies Shamus Neeson (left) and Nelson Nobrega (right) hope others are inspired by their story of how they came together for an upcoming living organ donation. (Supplied)
Two old friends brought together by chance are now sharing their story — hoping it spreads awareness about living organ donations.

Nelson Nobrega began receiving dialysis treatment in May 2016 after dealing with kidney disease for the previous eight years.

As his kidney function dropped to eight per cent, it became clear that he'd need a new organ to improve his quality of life.

That's where fate came in, bringing along Shamus Neeson as his organ donor.

Nobrega's wife sent him a video clip of Neeson on the news. In the excerpt, Neeson described his plans to donate his kidney to another woman, but she was eventually matched with a cadaver donor that suddenly became available.

Nobrega recognized him right away.

"I said, 'I know him, that's Shamus, we played football together, went to high school together," said Nobrega.

Within minutes, the two St. Mary's High School alumni were messaging about their blood type — both O+. It was a match. Continue reading