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Friend Offers Love, Support, And A Kidney

DETROIT (WWJ) - What are the chances you'd give a co-worker a kidney?

Kathy Beyers and Mary Simon worked together for 25 years and eventually became exercise buddies. Today, the two share an even deeper bond after Beyers gave Simon a kidney.

"It's a wonderful story of friendship and support and love,"  Simon told WWJ Health Reporter Sean Lee.

Simon, 61, has Polycystic Kidney Disease, a genetic disorder in which cysts develop on the kidneys, which leaves them enlarged and diminishes their function.

Two of  Simon's four sisters have it as well.

"My sister had a transplant seven years ago, and one of my younger sisters donated a kidney to her.  And then a years and a half ago, my sister Beth -- who is three years younger than me -- had a transplant, and our youngest sister gave her a kidney," Simon said.

When Simon's kidneys began to fail, no family members were able to donate. Without being asked, Simon's friend stepped forward.

" ... and I said, if I pass all the tests, you can have one of my kidneys. And she started to cry, and she was worried for me -- and so we cried together, and then she said OK," Beyers said.

Saint John Hospital Surgeon Abelkader Hawasli harvested the kidney from Beyers. He said her gift is the ultimate act of friendship.

Beyers shrugs off being labeled a hero. "It's the right thing to do, and it doesn't cost me anything. That's the beauty of it: It really doesn't cost me anything."

As for  Simon, she, and her family can never say thank you enough.

"It's unbelievable ... It's hard to even put it into words, you know, when someone gives you a gift like this," Simon said.

The transplant took place Wednesday morning at Saint John's Hospital in Detroit and doctors tell me both women are in recovery and doing great.

They'll both be going home in the next few days.

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