When 47-year-old LaDonna Hernandez of Chapel Hill, wanted to do a good deed, she didn’t donate money, or food, or even her time. She donated her kidney to a stranger.
“In raising my kids I’ve tried to set an example — do unto others, that’s what I’ve tried to teach them,” Hernandez said. “And, if at any point I needed a kidney, I would hope that someone would step up and do the same for me.”
Hernandez’ altruistic kidney donation set off a chain of events that resulted in two old friends being able to help each other, and another, as well.
Brent Pope of Wilson County needed a kidney after years of living with diabetes put him on dialysis. Ronald Renfrow wanted to donate his kidney to help his 45-year-old friend, but he wasn’t a match.
When testing determined that Hernandez could donate her kidney to Pope, Renfrow was inspired to give his kidney to a stranger too. David Whiteford, 47, of Raleigh, was the lucky recipient.
The paired kidney exchange took place November 17, 2014. The four met February 12, 2015 for the first time.