THURMONT, Md. (WDVM)– “In October 2018, I woke up with this overwhelming feeling that I needed to do something, but I didn’t know what.” said Kidney Donor Joy Julian.
This is the story of how one kidney brought 2 strangers together, and formed an unbreakable bond in the process.
“This is my second chance at life.” said Kidney Recipient Micheal Grimes.
Michael Grimes realized he needed another kidney, after his body rejected his initial transplant.
After researching the process, Joy decided she would embark on this journey. About a week later she saw a post on facebook, and it changed her life as she knew it.
“Mike had registered with the same hospital that I had filled the questionnaire out for, so I reached out to mike and I asked him if he needed a kidney, and he said yes.” said Julian.
Fast forward a few months, Joy did a round of testing to see if she was a match and lo and behold, she was.
“At that moment, I called him, I couldn’t wait,” said Julian. “I called him to let him know that I was going to be his kidney donor.”
“I cried, it’s very rare that you get a 22-year old girl that volunteers to save your life.” said Grimes.
The surgery was scheduled for April 4th. They went for a round of pre-op testing, and everything changed. The test came back positive, which means joy wasn’t Mike’s match after all and after that she had to make a decision.
“I knew I just needed to get him a kidney,” said Julian.
They partnered with the Paired Kidney Exchange, where if Joy donated her kidney, Mike would be guaranteed a kidney. Joy donated her kidney on August 6th and Mike received his kidney on September 24th. Through this exchange Joy was able to save two lives.
“Joy deserves all the credit,” said Grimes. “All donors, they deserve the credit. I’m just happy I got one, but they’re superheroes.”
Through trials and tribulations, Mike and Joy stood the test of time, and now they both have something to live for.
Two lives, one kidney, and now an unbreakable bond.