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Kidney donor, recipient met at daughters’ lacrosse game

May 17, 2019 GMT

A kidney recipient and her donor met in the most unlikely of places -- at a lacrosse game.

On Friday at 9 a.m., Tracy Zeidler and Amy Straughn will go into surgery at UNC Hospital. Zeidler is giving one of her kidneys to Straughn. The two women, now friends, met by chance at their daughters’ lacrosse game.

“I’m excited -- a little nervous about recovery,” Zeidler said a day before the surgery.

“I’m a little nervous,” Straughn agreed. “But I’m excited more than anything, because it’s been such a long process.”

For Straughn, a mother of two, Friday will mark the end of four years on kidney dialysis.


“I was in stage 5 kidney failure,” Straughn said, remembering her diagnosis. “And my kidneys were functioning at 4 to 5 percent.”

Zeidler has a rare and painful compressed vein problem with one of her kidneys. She’s choosing to to remove that kidney -- which is otherwise healthy -- and give it to someone who needs it.

“I started the process with the intention of donating to a stranger,” Zeidler said. “I learned how many people were on waiting lists and how many potential living donors there are and obviously there is not nearly enough. You can lead a perfectly good life with one kidney.”

Zeidler said she has no reservations of losing one kidney -- especially to help Straughn, who is now a close friend.

Straughn said her long wait for a matching donor had no end in sight until she met Zeidler at the game. She said the two started talking about their kidney issues.

“And then we got to talking,” Straughn said. “We asked, ‘What blood type are you?,’ and she was like, ‘A-Positive.’ I was like, ‘So am I.’”

In addition to her blood type, Zeidler fit a long list of matching needs to qualify as Straughn’s living donor. Both say the process has taught them a lot.

On Friday, their recovery rooms will be right next to each other.

You can find more information about becoming a living organ donor online.