Jeff Kurze's kidneys were failing. He was physically drained from dialysis. He needed a kidney.
His wife used Facebook to find him one.
After a mini stroke last fall, doctors told 35-year-old Jeff Kurze he needed a kidney. Unfortunately, his blood type put his wait time at as much as five years.
Jeff and his wife, Roxy, had been hoping to start a family. Now the young couple from Warren, Michigan, had a new priority: finding Jeff a kidney.
Roxy Kurze posted the following on her Facebook wall:
"Wishing a kidney would fall out of the sky so my husband can stop suffering. So if anyone knows of a live donor with type O blood, PLEASE let me know." (via ABC News)
A few dead-end leads were posted in response.
Then a Facebook friend — barely more than a stranger — sent her a private message. Ricky Cisco, a 25-year-old comedian Roxy had met through her work as a web designer, had type O blood. He wanted to talk about Jeff's kidney.
"Roxy's post sort of resonated because I knew right off the bat I was a candidate," Cisco said.
Cisco had never considered live kidney donation; online research quickly dispelled the urban myths and horror stories and reassured him that surgical risks were low. For him, life with one kidney was likely to be no different than life with two.
Roxy told her husband when he got home from work that night.
"She told me on the stairs when I got home from work. I was just so in shock that I had to sit down. I could hardly breathe," Jeff told ABC News. "I doubted it a little bit at first. I just said, 'We'll see what happens.' And what happened was amazing."
On March 30th, new friends Jeff and Cisco arrived at Beaumont Hospital.
The transplant went perfectly.
"I'm really proud of myself," Cisco said. "I'm not like a super-altruistic person or anything. I've always just sort of been in my head. To put myself out in the world like this has really changed my perspective."
Both Jeff and Cisco are feeling great post-surgery. And Jeff, forever grateful for his wife and her Facebook post, is eager to finally start planning a family.
As for Cisco's life-saving donation, Jeff can't thank him enough:
"I don't know how we can ever repay him. Just love him, I guess."