He’s black. She’s white. He’s a big guy. She’s an average-sized woman.
None of that ever made a bit of difference to best friends Derek Mosley and Joann Eiring, two municipal judges in Milwaukee who share a fondness for sports and restaurants.
But when Mosley’s kidneys failed, and Eiring said, "I’ll give you one of mine," they wondered if it would work, given all their physical differences.
After nearly a year of tests and procedures, “lo and behold she came back a match,” Mosley, 45, told Inside Edition.com Wednesday from his bed at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.
“Sure enough, she had a huge kidney,” Mosley said, laughing.
And Mosley has a new chance at life. Her left kidney now lives in his body, bringing him freedom from renal failure for the first time in years.
“I’m really at a loss for words. There’s absolutely nothing I can do to pay her back. Nothing,” he said.
Eiring doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about.
Why did she give away her kidney?
“Why wouldn’t you if it was a friend in need?” she replied. “I would like to think anyone would do this for a friend in need... I only need one kidney to live, and if giving him a kidney gives him a chance to live, then it’s a no-brainer.”
Eiring, 58, got to go home Monday night following last week’s surgery. She feels a little discomfort from the incisions on her abdomen, but is otherwise fine, she said.
Surgeons removed her kidney by pulling it through her belly button, she said.
“It is tender. But it’s not unbearable. It’s not nearly as painful as I thought it would be,” she said.
Mosley has a 12-inch incision and is pretty sore, he said. But when he awoke from the anesthesia with a new kidney working away, “I felt better immediately,” he said.
He had been on dialysis seven days a week, 10 hours a day, for three years.
He feels immensely lighter knowing he no longer has to be tethered to that machine.
And his wife and daughters, ages 11 and 8, are very glad to have him back full time, he said.
Especially his wife. “It’s got to be a tremendous burden off of her. She had to do everything by herself because I was on that machine all the time.”
Mosley and Eiring met in 2003 at a legal conference and hit it off immediately. They’re rabid sports fans. They like the same things. They began grabbing lunch together. They met each other’s families and did group outings.
Both are stunned by the avalanche of attention their mutual kidney has generated on the internet and in the media.
“I get emails from people I don’t know from all over the country,” Eiring said. “Just saying nice things; thanking me for being a hero.
"I’m not a hero. But the love and support that has come out of this is just heartwarming.”