Longtime climbing buddies become ‘kidney twins’ after organ donation

Photo by Lauren Walsh: Will Reynolds, left, and Ben Rankin in the early morning hours after their surgery.
The two friends met rock climbing.

Ben Rankin, 24, and Will Reynolds, 23, were on the youth climbing team at The Crag in Franklin about seven or eight years ago and quickly developed a kinship.

“We would meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays and just climb,” Reynolds said. “Once we started working at The Crag together we would just go climb outside together. We were climbing partners for several years after that. Even up to now.”

Although the two teenagers went to separate high schools — Rankin to Ravenwood High School, Reynolds to Brentwood Academy — and eventually to separate colleges, their connection to The Crag and their love of the outdoors kept them close. They would take weekend excursions when possible to places like Foster Falls, their favorite, where they could get away from the pressures of school and work.

Reynolds had always noticed how health-conscious Rankin was, how he would avoid fast food and always pack nutritious lunches for their hiking trips, but he did not know exactly why. Until a few years ago. Continue reading

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