Julie Reeve, a 45-year-old mother from Utah, had put up a fight against diabetes and cancer for years. Then, in December 2009, doctors told her that her kidneys were barely functioning and she would need a transplant.
Countless friends and family members volunteered to donate to Reeve, but with no success. She was so desperate for a transplant match, she even considered seeking help by going door-to-door, the Deserate News reported.
"I thought there was no way I would get a transplant," she said at the Intermountain Medical Center Transplant Patient Conference Monday.
Reeve didn’t end up going door-to-door, but did find what she was looking for just a few doors down from her home. Shelly Rose, Reeve’s neighbor of 10 years, didn’t even have to think twice about donating her kidney when she found out she was a perfect match.
"I just knew I wanted to do it," Rose, 45, said. "I watched Julie and knew her family loved her and she needed it. I was healthy and could do it, so why not?"
The transplant surgery, which took place at the end of January, was a complete success.
"There are many ways to say thank you, but how do you say thank you to a person who donates a kidney and literally saves your life?" Reeve added.
An average of 18 people per day die waiting for an organ transplant, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.