When best friends grow up together, they often become inseparable — even sometimes sharing a similar path to adulthood.
But there are some magical friendships that truly stand the test of time! Those rare occasions where besties seem destined to walk through life side-by-side, willing to step up for each other in a big way. And when we say big, we do mean BIG! Such was the case for Debbie Thompson, and her BFF, Christine “Chris” Morales.
Debbie and Chris have been best friends since the 3rd grade. Through the years, they’ve shared many adventures: junior high school and high school cheerleading, leaving home and moving in together at age 18, even becoming engaged and getting married to their respective spouses a year apart from one another.
But in 2015, Chris finally disclosed a secret she had been harboring from Debbie for years.
Chris had polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disorder that damages kidneys over time. Worse yet, Chris required a kidney transplant to survive.
“I said, ‘Well, you can have mine!'” Debbie explained. “I didn’t even know what the process was.”
Fortunately, Debbie soon learned that her blood type was the right match for Chris. Once Debbie was given the go-ahead to donate her kidney, they moved forward with a surgery that proved successful. The gift of friendship had ultimately translated into the gift of life.
Debbie has no regrets, and Chris is forever grateful to her best friend and organ donor, even developing an affectionate nickname for the transplanted kidney.
“She calls the kidney little Deb!” says Debbie. “She always says little Deb is doin’ good.”
With most good news stories, this would be the end. Best friend donates kidney to best friend and the rest, as they say, is history. But this story was not yet over. There were more obstacles (and miracles) to come.
Spoiler alert: happy ending just around the corner!
Approximately five years after Chris had a kidney transplant, her husband, Ron Morales, was told that he must undergo the very same surgery for Type 2 diabetes. Like Chris, Ron preferred to keep his medical issue private but eventually let other people know. It wasn’t long before Debbie’s husband, Brad Thompson, reached out to offer Ron his support and his kidney!
There were, however, a few conditions.
“I said, “You can’t call it little Brad, and you can’t bring me flowers on the anniversary like Chris does,'” Brad later joked.
Jokes aside, Brad was sincere in his offer to help. When Brad and Ron discovered that they were not a blood type match, Ron received blood transfusions in preparation of surgery. Dr. Tsuyoshi Toda, Ron’s transplant surgeon, was amazed at the success of this unlikely pairing and the surgical outcome.
“In the seven or so years I have been doing this, I have never seen anything like this,” said Dr. Toda “I think it’s very unique. I am glad they were able to find each other.”
As you can well imagine, Debbie and Chris believe that their friendship has only deepened with time and experience. Brad and Ron also share a unique bond, and the future looks bright for both couples!
Next on their list of things to do together? Shared retirement and travel. Apparently, some friendships are meant to last a lifetime.
Looking to inspire someone who needs a lift? Share this story of enduring friendship!
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