A perfect kidney match found through a Facebook connection
Pittsford, N.Y. -- A serendipitous connection led to the saving of a man's life.
Angella Luyk and Maria Fisher became Facebook friends late one night last year, when Luyk was scrolling through a list of common friends. She thought Fisher was "cool" and sent her a friend request. Fisher accepted.
It’s been a year now, and Luyk and Fisher have only met two other times before Wednesday. The first time was when Luyk was a guest on Fisher's radio show called "Still I Rise." Then, again on a different radio show months later.
“We didn't really talk. I would [Facebook] stalk her," Luyk said. "I didn’t really like anything or comment. Then all of a sudden, here’s this angel saying, 'Hey, I’ll give you mine.'"
Luyk is referring to Fisher offering to donate a kidney to save her husband, Harry's, life. He was diagnosed with kidney disease nearly four years ago.
In November, his name was put on the transplant list, but he needed a kidney now.
“We didn’t have the year we thought we had," Luyk said. "They were saying, 'You probably had two to three months.' So we were like, 'Crap.'”
So Luyk posted a message to her Facebook page, seeking donors. Maria fisher happened to see it.
“I thought about it and said, 'I’ll go through the process,'" Fisher explained.
That process included a MRI, EKG and blood work to see if Fisher was a match. She is.
“She mentioned to her husband that this Maria person wants to do it, and he’s like, 'Who is that?'" Fisher said.
She never met Harry, the donor recipient.
“Everyone mocks Facebook, and everyone’s like, 'It’s such garbage,'" Luyk said. "'It’s a waste of time.' But if it wasn’t for Facebook, I wouldn't have never met Maria, and Harry would be still suffering right now.”
Fisher said part of the reason she's donating is because her family survived Nazi slave labor camps and came to the United States as refugees.
“I feel like, here’s my opportunity now that I can give back a little bit of what people gave to me and my family," Fisher said. “Forever, I’ll know I saved someone’s life. It’s a huge benefit to me.”
“I can’t even say how blessed we are, and I can’t thank her enough," expressed Luyk.
Fisher and Luyk said this friendship was meant to be: “There’s no other way to say it. “
By the way, Fisher and Harry Luyk met for the very first time Wednesday. Luyk said he's grateful and excited about the gift of life he is receiving.