TELEVISION PARK– Thousands of people across the country are waiting for an organ donor match to be found for them.
Meet one couple with a unique story– the wife was able to save a life while someone else saved her husband’s. Abbie Schrader explains the special program.
“I casually asked, could I donate? And they said sure!”
Sharon Nicastro asked that question after her husband, John, was going to dialysis three times a week for a year. But John wasn’t living his fullest quality of life that way. Sharon knew she had to step up.
“I was willing to donate a kidney to someone who needed it. In return, my husband would receive a kidney from someone since we were not compatible”
That’s essentially how the program works. And on August 19, 2015 Sharon and John both underwent their surgeries, with John receiving a kidney from a living donor in Columbus, and Sharon’s kidney, going to a recipient in California.
“She really saved two lives because a person received the kidney and I in turn received so two people are walking and living a much better life.”
Being able to just pick up and go, spend time outdoors. or cherished time with their three grandchildren. John says his energy level is better than it’s been in a long time.
“You don’t know how bad you were until you received your new kidney.”
As for Sharon, she says that her purpose on earth has been accomplished.
“If you know someone that needs a kidney and you have that within you to donate, go get checked.”
“Even if you don’t know that person, it’s amazing how you can save somebody’s life.”
One young man will have the chance to have a healthy life because of a very special donation. Ashlee Edwards is a NewsChannel 6 employee who donated her kidney to her cousin. WJBF’s Kimberely Scott met with her before the surgery.
Ashlee/”I will be donating my kidney to my 12 year old cousin TJ”
T.J. was born with a birth defect called Posterior Urethral Valves. This is when the bottom of the bladder is closed making it nearly impossible to urinate. Now he’s 12 active in sports and needs of a kidney. That’s where cousin Ashlee comes into the picture. She’s helping in a big way.
Ashlee/”It wasn’t a decision I had to think about. She shared the information and I wanted to help.”
Annette/”The timing was too perfect and the fact that she was the first person tested and the perfect match, it just felt like this was supposed to happen.”
Ashlee joins us now to talk about her successful surgery, her quality of life, and an update of TJ.