Flickr photo by procsilasIt's Good News Sunday here on The Stir -- the place to come to start your week on a happy note.
Dan Coyne often chose Myra de la Vega's line at his local grocery store in Evanston, Illinois, because she was always so pleasant. But that was all he really knew about her. When she looked sick one day he asked her about it and learned that she had just started dialysis for kidney failure. Coyne went home and talked to his wife about donating his kidney. Emily Coyne gave her blessing after making sure the donation procedure was safe.
Until then, De la Vega, 49, the single mother of two children, thought her death was imminent. She had been working the late shift at the grocery store for 12 years; after work, she had 8 hours of dialysis while sitting up.
Since Coyne offered to donate his kidney, the two families have grown closer. Coyne's two children, Isaac, 14, and Julia, 11, went through de la Vega's checkout line one night and handed her a card with the news that their father was a match. De la Vega's family (her two children, Mydel Santos, 18, Kim Santos, 14, and her 79-year-old mother, Leticia de la Vega), had the Coynes over for dinner and sent flowers with a note saying, "Thanks for giving our mom a second chance."
The transplant surgery took place on Friday.
"He's an angel on earth," said De la Vega.
"If we can be friends and our families support each other, fine," Coyne said. "But I want her to know she is in no way obligated to continue a relationship with me after she gets the kidney. It's a gift."
(You can read more about their story in The Chicago Tribune)
Would you donate a kidney to someone you hardly knew, but saw fairly frequently -- the cashier at your favorite coffee shop, the gas station attendant,the bank teller?