A Pennsylvania woman lost more than 40 pounds to give her kidney to a longtime friend.
Rebekah Ceidro, 33, had worked with her friend Chris Moore, 30, for five years at a local restaurant and later kept in touch through Facebook.
But in July, when Ceidro saw Moore post a status update that said he was in need of a kidney, she knew she had to check up on him.
“I thought, 'Oh my God. This is terrible,'" Ceidro said. "In my opinion he was always the peak of health and fitness. I thought somebody needs to step up and help him and I thought, 'Well, if I am saying that then I should be that person.'"
After messaging Ceidro, she discovered that he was suffering from kidney failure and she asked what she could do to help. By chance, they realized that they were both O positive blood type.
“So I said, 'Well tell me what you need?' and, 'What’s the first step in doing this?'" Ceidro said. “I said, ‘I’d love to help you if I can. I am fairly sure I have two kidneys that work well and I am happy to give you one of them.'"
In September, Ceidro went for a day of testing and everything seemed to be going well until doctors told her she needed to weigh less than 200 pounds to give a kidney, saying that it may not be safe for her future otherwise.
“I needed to lose 18 pounds,” Ceidro said. “It’s never easy to hear somebody say that. I said, ‘I am going to lose the weight then because if that’s all that's keeping me from saving my friend's life, then of course I would do it.'"
And that’s just what Ceidro did.
She began tracking her meals on MyFitnessPal and completely changed her diet. She began running five days a week and entering races to shed the pounds.
“I said, ‘I am going to keep running until I can run a 5k every day if I wanted to,’” she said.
Today, Ceidro has lost a total of 45 pounds. She is set to give her kidney to Moore in the fall.
“At first the only reason I was doing it was for him, but everything in my life has changed for the better,” Ceidro said. “It’s made us a lot closer because now he is actually getting his health in line too. We talk like every day now.”