Running For Kidneys
Posted at: 06/12/2012 9:19 PM
| Updated at: 06/13/2012 10:59 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
Scott and Kayla Jenkins will lace up their shoes on Saturday to run the Garry Bjorklund half marathon for the first time.
"I'm excited for it. It's gonna be a fun time," Kayla said.
"We motivate each other," Scott said.
But Scott and Kayla are really running for someone else. His name is Matt Massie. Three years ago he suffered renal failure and needed a kidney. Scott heard Matt's story and decided to donate to a total stranger.
"I had the opportunity to test for him and fortunately I was able to donate," Scott said. "It's an easy thing to do when there's someone in need."
"It means a lot to me to know there's people like him out there, even though it's easier to just sit back and not worry about other people," Matt said.
But the process wasn't as simple as transplant surgery.
"I had to lose weight to get into proportionate height and weight for the donation screening," Scott said.
And he did. Scott dropped around 80 pounds so he could donate his kidney to Matt.
"I was shocked. It kind of came out of nowhere," Kayla said. "But I'm proud to call him my dad and he did something great for another person."
Unfortunately, Matt suffered a series of infections, knocking out the healthy kidney. And he's still waiting for another one. But it's not a wasted donation. It's why Scott and Kayla are running, to bring awareness to the need for more living donors.
"There are so many people out there just waiting for a kidney," Kayla said. "It's a great idea to give back to someone else."
"You've got two kidneys and could certainly do without one of them and live a happy, healthy life, as long as you are in good physical condition and make the commitment to stay that way," Scott said.
Matt is grateful to have the Jenkins' in his corner, and hopes to be in theirs this weekend.
"It's amazing to have that kind of support. He hasn't given up and we're in this battle together, and he hopes to help me as much as possible," Matt said.