Strangers become lifelong friends after kidney donation

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LARGO — A Sarasota dad and a University of Pittsburgh graduate student became lifelong friends after a kidney transplant at Florida Hospital Largo.

Madelyn Czekalski, who is studying to be a physician assistant at the University of Pittsburgh, said she actually wanted to donate her kidney, but just needed to find the right person to donate it to.

“Really, what made me do this is knowing that the quality of life on dialysis is really bad. And giving someone your kidney, which you don’t even need, can give them years and years of life back that they couldn’t have before,” Czekalski said.

Czekalski received an email about an alumnus of the same program named Guy Guimond who moved to Sarasota four years ago. The 46-year-old father of three suffered from kidney disease and needed a transplant as soon as possible.

“He said type A or O. And I said ‘I’m type O. Let’s go,'” Czekalski said.

“You have to be a remarkable person to do that. Who’s in her second year of graduate school and going through what she’s going through. Obviously, she’s a remarkable young woman,” Guimond said.

The operation, less than a week ago at Florida Hospital Largo, was a success.

Guy had his first follow-up appointment on Wednesday and was able to once again thank the woman who made it all possible.

WFTS

“There are still good people doing things for nothing more than to help someone else,” Guimond said.

“Now I feel like I have a friend forever and he’s also a PA. It’s definitely a relationship that I don’t even know how to explain. But it’s the one I’ll have for life,” Czekalski said.

For more information on kidney donation, go to kidney.org/transplantation.



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