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Facebook posting led to kidney donation

Two men who met briefly a year earlier as salesman and customer became bonded for life because of a wife's Facebook posting seeking a kidney donation for her husband.

Roxy Kurze was desperate to find a kidney donor for her husband Jeff, 35, and posted a notice on Facebook seeking someone willing to do so who had blood type O.

The Michigan couple knew they faced a three- to five-year wait by going the usual route of being on the hospital's waiting list. And Roxy Kurze knew that time was of the essence. Her husband had already suffered a stroke, and dialysis was leaving him physically depleted.

"Wishing a kidney would fall out of the sky so my husband can stop suffering," Roxy Kurze wrote on Facebook. "So if anyone knows of a live donor with type O blood, PLEASE let me know."

Ricky Cisco, 25, didn't know Jeff Kurze by name. But he knew Roxy only slightly, through a work-related Facebook "friending" that might as well have been as distant as Mars. At his computer, on Facebook one day, he saw her posting for a Type O donor and was intrigued. He was Type O.

Roxy Kurze gives husband Jeff a kiss.

"It wasn’t until I researched it and realized that every day that I drive to work, I’m risking my life far more than by donating a kidney. That kind of reassured me ... once I found out how safe it was, there really wasn’t any excuse to fall back on."

He contacted Roxy Kurze, and met Jeff — for what turned out to be the second time. Jeff Kurze had sold him a laptop about a year before. And he was stunned that Cisco was willing to donate a kidney, "to step up out of the blue."

"I didn’t believe it. It was hard to breathe. I was in total disbelief that this was happening," said Kurze, who celebrated his fifth wedding anniversary with Roxy last month.

"I always wanted to be a hero, but I’m not very strong," said Cisco, who runs a makeup studio. "I can’t lift anything; I can’t save people in traditional ways. I do have an extra kidney, so it worked out good."

It worked out more than good. On March 30, the kidney transplant was done at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak in the Detroit area. In a video made by the hospital two days before the surgery, Kurze and Cisco recount their story.

The two men are more than Facebook friends now; "We’ve become friends through this and hang out a lot," said Kurze. "We probably see each other once a week."

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