Atlanta Thrashers fan Andy Freeman, after having been on dialysis for two years, received a donated kidney from a stranger solely because they shared a love of hockey.
Freeman, who could not find a single match among his family, was watching a Thrashers game in an Atlanta sports bar with fellow fan Doug Shaw and mentioned his need for a kidney. Shaw then mentioned Freeman’s plight to his wife, Brandi, who, as it turns out, shares the same blood type as Freeman. The odds of being a perfect match for a non-relative, though, were “astronomical”.
Shaw’s wife decided to go through all the tests needed to determine if she could be a donor.
“At each stage Andy reconciled himself to the possibility Brandi would be ruled out, much like the more than 20 people who had been screened before her. Amazingly, Brandi cleared each hurdle, passed each test…”
Brandi went ahead and donated a kidney to someone she didn’t know 10 months earlier. The transplant was a complete success.
Both Brandi and Andy were special guests at the recent Atlanta Thrashers training camp. The Atlanta Thrashers Web site has full details. Freeman now serves on the board of directors for the National Kidney Foundation of Georgia.
(Thanks to new GNN member, Matt Anderson, for the good news!)