While celebrating a 20th wedding anniversary is a big deal, it is an even BIGGER deal to the Chafian family from Suffolk, Virginia!
Cindy Chafian was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease at the age of 22, which meant that her kidneys were battling against cysts that grew inside, making them larger than normal and damaging the kidney’s tissues. While it runs in the family, the disease didn’t start to impact her kidney function until she turned 38.
Her mother, uncle, and grandfather all underwent successful transplants, but it was still a shocking thing to come to terms with.
By age 40, she was placed on a transplant list and prepped for dialysis. She and her husband, Scott, began to think outside of the box. In 2013, Scott had gotten tested and discovered that he was a match for his wife…but she wasn’t ready for that.
It’s such a huge thing to ask somebody — your life partner, the father of your children,” she said. “What if something goes wrong? It’s hard enough to go through a transplant with someone you don’t know. It’s even harder to accept that kind of a gift from someone you love.”
By the end of 2014, Scott insisted. He had watched his wife go through the struggles and pain of dialysis and an invasive surgery on her remaining kidney, but it was all too much. They agreed to see a doctor and schedule the donation.
That first moment I got to see her after the surgery, so much about her was different … her skin color, the light in her eyes,” said Scott. “We both had put off so much for ourselves and for our family. Now, there’s this anticipation of being able to move on with our lives.”
She wants their story to spread the word about living donations. You never know whose life you might be able to save.
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