C'mon Get Happy: Classmate Donates a Kidney

posted by Heather White -

Charlie Ball and Kenneth Walker went to school together more than 50 years ago at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington DC and now live on opposite coasts. But despite the time and distance between them, the two are now sharing more than memories. They graduated in 1969 but were not close friends. Walker sent out an email last year to his old classmates asking for a kidney, Ball said he recognized the name. He decided to respond. If he was a match, he told Walker, he would donate his kidney.

Walker was in desperate need of a kidney and put his name down on every wait list. One of his friends said--why don't you check with the high school and see if you can get a donor.  He sent out an email to his classmates and told of his predicament. He also said he understood if no one felt comfortable helping, but that he wanted to share his story to raise awareness anyway.

"Consider being an organ donor after death and also, help me by sharing my story with everyone you know. At the very least, I want to bring awareness to kidney disease and living donation," he wrote. "I am hopeful my efforts will help me receive a kidney sooner and encourage others to consider helping the many people on the wait list." Less than 15 minutes later, Charlie Ball responded, saying he would go to the hospital and get checked to see if he was a match.  It turns out he was a match!! The surgery happened this past week. Now, both men are focused on recovering. When asked why he did it, Charlie Ball said: "It's simple enough, God gave me two, I don't have to wonder why."

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