Jan 23, 2013 10:12 AM by Ryan Haarer

A man meets his kidney donor in an unlikely place

TUCSON - Jimmy sits in dialysis four hours a day, three days a week. It's part of his quest to find a new, working kidney.

"I think once I even put it on Facebook! You know if anybody knew anybody or thought they knew anybody that wanted to give a kidney to contact me," said the 52 year old.

No donors made it to Jimmy and none of his kids were a match but just this last October he was looking for a new truck.

"My wife didn't want me to buy a truck. I told her I was just looking."

It's a good thing he was or he wouldn't have met a car salesman named Mike.

"He explained to me that his wife wanted to donate a kidney but she wasn't able to and she was O negative. I said I'm O positive. He got excited!" said Jimmy.

The blood type is a perfect match. Before you know it the used car salesman was dialing his wife Vanessa.

"There are probably no two people in the world that are more opposite me and Jimmy. I mean he's a man and i am a woman. He's black, I'm white. I'm a Buddhist and he's a Christian but our organs are interchangeable," said Vanessa Vittoria.

After a couple phone conversations Vanessa agreed to give up a kidney.

"A lot of people might look at her and say god you're crazy! You don't even know that guy. You're just going to give him a kidney? But as soon as I met her we connected and I just know that you don't just go shopping for a car and come away with a kidney," said Jimmy, fighting back tears.

It's not just a kidney they'll share. Their families have become friends with a little bit of luck and maybe something more.

"It's my blessing from god to me and I hope that I can be a blessing to her," said Jimmy.

For Vanessa the reward is not just for Jimmy.

"I think there is no such thing as a truly selfless act because I think I've gotten quite a bit out of this. I know they have but I have to," said Vanessa.

If you are interested in donating a kidney you can contact UAMC's Living Kidney Donor Program. E-mail Celeste Braly at celeste.braly@uahealth.com or call her at (520) 694-6637. For more information on kidney donation visit http://www.azkidney.org/ and http://www.dnaz.org/.


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