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Walters Woman Not Only Saves Life of Stranger, But Her Life Was Also Saved

Christina Hesler. Photo courtesy of Matchingdonors.com

The internet has advanced through many stages in its 20 years. We can shop online, read the news, find out what’s coming out in our local theater, listen to your favorite radio station and even find a matching organ donor.

That is exactly what Christian Stonecypher of Georgia did when doctors alerted her that she had kidney failure on her 24th birthday.

Stonecypher went to a website called matchingdonors.com, a 501c3 non-profit organization that gives people in need of a transplant surgery an active way to search for a donor.

“I was being evaluated and one of the surgeons mentioned they had someone recently get transferred by using that online site and I went on Google and found it,” Stonecypher said.

Christina Stonecypher
Photo courtesy of Matchingdonors.com

According to Stonecypher, doctor’s do not know what caused her to have kidney failure and they were also shocked that a healthy woman was experiencing it. She got on the national waiting list in 2010 with no success.

According to the U.S Health & Human services organ donor website organdonor.gov it can take years to find a kidney needed for transplant. The website states that the median wait time for a kidney through the system is little over three years.

Stonecypher then created a profile on matchingdonors.com in January 2012 and actively searched for a matching donor for eight months. Her match was Christina Hesler of Walters, OK.

Hesler is a reserve police officer in Walters who found out about the website through a friend whom has made donations to the organization. She wanted to donate a kidney to her friend’s son after a couple years of waiting for a kidney. However before Hesler went to see if her kidney would be a match, another donor whom had received their results as positive had been found.

Still wanting to help save a life if she could, Hesler signed up on the matching donors website in August 2012. Eight days later Stonecypher messaged Hesler to see if her kidney would be a match.

“When Christina’s email came along and I read her biography. She’s so young, she just graduated college and she just got married. She and her husband want to start a family but she can’t because she’s on dialysis. It really just touched my heart and my family’s heart,” Hesler said.

After testing positive Hesler made plans to fly to Atlanta where the transplant would take place. However in January when Hesler took the final test to see if she would be a match for Stonecypher, doctors discovered she had early stages of cervical cancer.

“It was really emotional for my family when I was diagnosed, she said. “The doctors gave me a call and told me that I had cervical cancer and the whole family was really, really worried.”

Hesler then made arrangements with a gynecologist to get a cone biopsy to see how terminal the cancer had become. After the biopsy it was discovered it was in the earliest stage and was treatable. After the surgery, Hesler still wanted to move on with the donation.

Hesler will not be receiving any financial compensation for the surgery. She will however have no medical expenses.

According to matchingdonors.com there is a warning that states it is against the law to receive any financial benefit from organ donation

“If you are paid, request to be paid, or pay anyone for any transplant you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Violators of this criminal prohibition can be subject to $50,000 fines and/or five years of imprisonment. Our terms allow us to give all of your personal, contact and tracking information to law officials including the FBI without your permission if you violate this prohibition,” the website states.

Hesler left to Atlanta Wednesday night through Dallas where the transplant surgery will take place in the Piedmont Hospital. The transplant will take place on Friday where Hesler will stay in the hospital for one day after the surgery is complete.

Stonecypher plans to start a family after she receives the kidney but states that she will wait for the recommended one year before her and her husband try to have a child.

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