A captain is expected to take care of her crew, which is why this Alaska Airlines pilot decided to donate her kidney to a flight attendant undergoing a turbulent battle against kidney disease.
Alaska Airlines flight attendant Jenny Stansel, 38, has been battling chronic kidney disease for more than 15 years. On Monday, she is finally preparing to go under the knife, and receive her organ transplant.
Piloting her life-saving mission will be Captain Jodi Harskamp, an Alaska Airlines pilot with whom has grown close after many years of working together.
"Jodi and I are getting prepped for transplant right now," Stansel told InsideEdition.com on Monday morning. "She just received her IV and I just had tons of blood drawn. Ready to get this done!"
Although donating a kidney to her co-worker might seem like a grand gesture, Harskamp said she was just returning a favor.
Four years ago, Harskamp’s family lost everything after their home burned down. She was able to escape with nothing but her newborn son, and their dog.
She said Stansel, along with some other co-workers she had not known well, brought her food and wine to help her get back up on her feet.
The pair soon began working on the same flights, and Harskamp discovered Stansel was in desperate need of a kidney transplant last year, when she had to stop working partway through a flight. Stansel was in kidney failure, and could have died had she not found a donor in time.
Harskamp took a test that determined she was a match for Stansel. Although Harskamp said she may not be able to return to work as a pilot if anything goes wrong in the surgery, she decided the risk was worth it.
"I cannot say enough about how brave and strong and incredibly generous Jodi is," Stansel wrote in a Facebook post. "I have so much love and respect for her and her wonderful family for supporting her decision to give me life."
Both Harskamp and Stansel will be taking several months off work following the procedure, and are raising money for expenses after their operation through GoFundMe.