There is truly nothing like the power of love. From romantic love to parental love and even friendship love– nothing else quite has the same ability to conquer dark and painful times.
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The most powerful type of love is one that is sacrificial and unselfish. It causes people to give up their time, skills, and money for a person that is in need. And sometimes this sacrifice takes place over a long period of time when the love has to be fought for and proven as genuine.
Rebekah Ceidro and her former co-worker Chris Moore are a living testimony of how powerful love for a friend can be.
About a year ago, Chris posted a seriously scary status on Facebook sharing that his chronic kidney disease had worsened. At the young age of 30, he’d been told by doctors he’d need to go on dialysis if he didn’t receive a kidney transplant in the next six months to a year.
“I just kept seeing the post and it would tug at my heart,” said Rebekah. “You don’t think about things like that when you are 30 years old. You think about when you are going to get married, not ‘How am I going to save my own life?'”
When she realized that no one was offering to help, Rebekah knew that she had to speak up and act immediately on the love she was feeling for Chris in his hurting. That’s when she messaged Chris on Facebook and let him know that she wanted to donate her kidney to him.
Miraculously, Rebekah and Chris both share the same blood type which meant that she was the perfect match for a kidney donation. However, when she began the process of becoming a donor through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, she was told that she wasn’t in the proper shape to become a donor.
At 5 feet 7 inches and 213 pounds Rebekah would need to lose around 15 pounds in order to become eligible for the donor testing process. As frustrating as it was to be told no by the doctors, Rebekah knew that they were only trying to ensure her safety throughout the whole process, operation, and recovery.
“My actual thought was, ‘I’m too fat to save my friend’s life.’ And that sucked, but that’s at least something you can change,” she said.
Right away, Rebekah got started on a new fitness lifestyle with the end goal of being able to donate her kidney to Chris.
She signed up for a 5k race that was only two weeks out from her life changing decision and though she finished, it was a struggle all along the way.
After Rebekah finished that race, she vowed to run and build up her strength until she was able to do a 5k everyday. Through her determination she began running 3 to 4 miles a day. Before too long, she was adding strength training to her fitness regimen and building her stamina as she ran everyday throughout the winter.
By Spring she had exceeded the 15 pound mark and had lost 40 pounds through her focused intensity on getting into better shape. She is well on her way to being able to lose more weight as she has no desire to end her new fit lifestyle anytime soon.
Rebekah finished the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon on May 7th in three hours 14 minutes and is hoping that she will be able to run in the Pittsburgh Marathon in May 2018.
Now that Rebekah has reached a healthy weight and BMI, the doctors at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are preparing both Chris and Rebekah for the kidney transplant operation within the next three to six months.
“I use her courage to give myself courage,” said Chris. “If she can do this, then I can do this.”
Rebekah’s fitness journey is inspiring all on it’s own, but also incredibly humbling to see her example of the dedication and sacrifice that goes into this kind of deep love for others.
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