Kidney transplant brings two strangers together

Kidney transplant brings two strangers together

BOSTON — A Millis mother was in desperate need for a kidney transplant when a stranger stepped in to help.

Up until last week, Rebecca Owens and Crystal Belcher had never met before. If it wasn't for social media, they may have never crossed paths.

"We actually met at pre-op," said Owens.

Content Continues Below

Owens had been on the list for a kidney donation for two and a half years after years of struggling with diabetes and her kidneys only working at 15 percent.

"It was just getting to the point where we were trying to do everything we could to try and get a donor," said Owens.

Desperate to find a donor, Owens took to Facebook to search for a possible match. It was then that Belcher came across her story and got tested.

Belcher, who is a mother of five, said she couldn't say no to the opportunity when she got the call confirming she was a match.

"I'd seen the post asking for help and I don't know, I just signed up to see if I could do it because it seemed like the right thing to do," said Belcher.

After years of waiting, Rebecca finally got the call she'd hoped would come for so long.

"Just hearing that somebody was willing to donate and sacrifice, it's just overwhelming," said Owens.

Dr. Stefan Tullius, the Chief of transplant surgery at Brigham and Women's in Boston oversaw the the surgery.

"I think it came just at the right time," said Dr. Tullius. "She had other donors we evaluated that hadn't been approved.

Both Owens and Belcher left Brigham and Women's on Tuesday. Owens gave Belchers a necklace with a kidney-shaped pendant as a token of her appreciation but says there is nothing she can ever really do to thank her enough.

Her hope now is that her story will encourage more people to donate, or to at least think about it.

"When you see the pages pop up, read it," said Owens. "Read the person's story. If you're not gonna be willing to be the donor, share the page."

Owens is giving back by starting a GoFundMe account to help with Belcher's recovery, which you can find here.

"I was happy, I was nervous, I was amazed that I could actually help this lady," said Belchers.