Single dad gets a new kidney – and a quick friendship – from a complete stranger


A single father from North Carolina with a rare kidney disease struck up a quick and powerful friendship with his donor, a complete stranger.

Steve Sanders, 46, has long suffered from a rare genetic condition called uromodulin kidney disease (UKD), which would eventually require daily dialysis treatments.

The father-of-two was desperate for a kidney via a website he set up and social media platforms. After a year and a half of searching for a donor, Sanders found a perfect match in Chris Perez, 40, who responded to messages, according to a Fox News report.

“I didn’t want to go on dialysis…as an active father of two young children,” Sanders told Fox News Digital. “If you’re on dialysis, it’s really taxing on your body.”

Perez, director of volunteer services at Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center, said he learned of Sanders’ plight from his wife, who read Sanders’ story.

“I couldn’t help but think deeply about whether it was me in this situation,” Perez said. “I would really like someone to do it for me.”

After Perez was approved for the transplant, Sanders said he felt “an immediate connection” to him when the two men spoke on the phone for the first time.

After a year and a half of searching for a donor, Steve Sanders found a perfect match in Chris Perez, 40, who responded to messages.
Facebook/Steve Sander

Since Sanders’ surgery, which took place in January, the two men have spoken to each other daily, according to a press release from Atrium Health.

Chris Perez, director of volunteer services at Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center, said he learned about Steve Sanders' plight from his wife.
Chris Perez, director of volunteer services at Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center, said he learned about Steve Sanders’ plight from his wife.

“I had a kidney, but I also had a very good friend,” Sanders said.

New York Post

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