Fraternity Brothers Bonded Forever
More than 30 years after first meeting in college, two fraternity brothers’ special bond extends to living kidney donation.
David and Bob met more than 30 years ago as college roommates. They hit it off immediately, became fraternity brothers and enjoyed their college years together. After college, Bob asked David to be the godfather to one of his children and they were in each others' weddings. Indeed, their bond was special.
Although David knew that Bob suffered from kidney disease, he did not know what the cause was or much about Bob's condition. He did know that Bob had received a kidney from his brother. Unbeknownst to Bob, David had spoken with a urologist friend about donating one of his kidneys to his friend.
Thirteen years later, David got a phone call from Bob. During the course of the conversation, Bob told him that he needed another kidney transplant. At that moment, without a second’s hesitation, David said, "I’ll give you one." Bob said that he appreciated his friend's quick and generous response but that this was something David really needed to think about and discuss with Jamie, his wife. David replied that he had been thinking about it for 13 years. He related the story of his conversation with the urologist many years earlier. Bob consented to David being screened to be his donor. David also said that his wife, Jamie, loves Bob and had also immediately said "you got to do it."
The screening process began and Bob and David proved that they were indeed an incredible match. "Are you sure you’re not related?" the doctor who performed the screening test asked. Amazingly, Bob and David had the same match score as Bob had with his brother years before.
The surgery was performed in 2010 at Mount Sinai, and although there were difficult days, their friendship, determination and shared sense of humor saw them through.
For David, being a living donor for his friend was one of the greatest experiences of his life. "It was one of the best things I have ever done in my life — without equivocation. Other than my wife and my kids – to be able to step up and help a friend was incredible."
Dr. Juan Rocca, Surgical Director of the Live Donor Kidney Transplantation Program, and his team were incredible, David said, "I think the world of Dr. Rocca and my anesthesiologist. It’s my pleasure to support this program and these doctors in any way I can."
In the summer of 2011, more than 30 years after meeting and one year after David donated one of his kidneys to Bob, the two celebrated their friendship with a hiking trip in Colorado. They are pictured below at the summit of Mount Lincoln at 14,293 feet.