Man donates kidney to lifelong friend

KVOA | Alia Shaheed
TUCSON - Nearly 120,000 Americans are waiting for an organ transplant. The vast majority of those are in need of a kidney donor.

But statistics show less than 25 percent will find a donor this year.

One local father of five beat those odds, thanks to a selfless gift from an old friend.

Ryan Rodriguez, 32, has suffered from kidney issues since he was a child. But last year, things took a turn for the worse.

“I noticed that I really wasn't feeling well, my leg was swollen,” he said. “I went to the hospital and that’s when they told me my kidney function dropped to just 9 percent.”

The young father’s kidneys had failed. He started calling his family from the hospital to let them know of his prognosis. But when he rang his old friend, Darrhyl Harris, he heard an offer he couldn’t believe

“I think I remember him saying 'Well, what do I need to do to find out if I'm a match,' " said Ryan. ”I was so surprised because that wasn't even the goal. I was just calling to let loved ones know.” Continue reading
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