Mary Ziegler and Bill Henrichs met in 9th grade. She ended up saving him from a life of dialysis. Between 9th grade and now, a lot happened! For one, they got married and had children. They live in Minnesota and are no longer married. However, 20 years ago, when they divorced, they decided they were going to have a good divorce and not do and say the terrible things often associated with divorce.
But they did so much more than that — even after both remarried.
Mary says that Bill never really left the family, but his new wife Linda joined it--and they were all a big, happy group.
Henrichs had been living with kidney failure caused by diabetes and hypertension for a while. After lots of friends were checked and were not matches, they turned to family. Bill did not want to ask their kids for a kidney because they were all parents of young children. That's when Mary stepped up and got tested.
Blood work was sent to the Mayo Clinic, and doctors found Ziegler and Henrichs were the same blood type and shared quite a few antigens, Ziegler said. She says it was fate that made her the perfect donor for her ex-husband.
A funny side-note? During their marriage, one of their biggest problems was that Mary was super healthy and into fitness and Bill was definitely NOT. She says her ability to donate a kidney was kind of the ultimate 'I told you so!'
Mary says she is grateful for how everything turned out--from their marriage, to their purposefully decent divorce, to her ability to spare him a life of dialysis. She says it is just what you do for family...