An old friend and online gaming led to an incredible birthday gift for a Valley woman.
Mandy Kennedy is home recovering from kidney transplant surgery. She has a genetic condition called Alport Syndrome. The condition causes progressive loss of kidney function.
Last summer, she started dialysis treatments. It was shortly after she and her husband, Brandon, moved to Arizona. The couple says they were told that the waitlist for a kidney donor in Arizona would likely be years shorter than in their home state of California.
"I had other family relatives that wanted to be donors, but they didn't qualify," says Mandy.
Around that same time, she began to tell her friends about her situation, including an old high school friend she'd recently reconnected with through online gaming. He reached out to her privately and offered to be her donor.
Mandy says he didn't ask for anything in return, that he "just wanted to do a selfless act of kindness. There's just not a lot of people in this world like that anymore." Her husband calls it amazing.
Brandon says he's super grateful and it's "just beyond any imaginable feeling."
The donor wishes to remain anonymous, but Mandy says they've spoken since the surgery, and he's recovering and feels good.