Lebanon residents part of kidney donation chain
DURHAM, N.C. - Two local people, a mother and a son, were part of a chain of kidney transplants that included six people. Friday, the Lebanon, Virginia residents met their donor and recipient for the first time.
"It's more than just a gift of life. It's a gift of love," kidney recipient Steven Mullins said.
Lebanon resident Mullins' kidney problems began more than a decade ago when he was 18, but his mother Kathy, a willing donor, was not a match. Friday, he met his donor.
"I've been excited ever since I first found out about getting to meet everyone," he said.
Since Kathy was not a match for her son, she decided to donate anyway knowing that someone else also needed the lifesaving gift.
They travelled to Duke Hospital in Durham to meet the others in the chain - some giving, some receiving kidneys. In addition to meeting her son's donor, Kathy met her recipient, a man who had been on dialysis for six years.
"It makes you feel like you've accomplished something in life and that you've done something good for someone," she said.
Steven and Kathy plan to stay in touch with the other members of the transplant chain for years to come.