Woman Saves Childhood Friend’s Life by Donating Kidney

Lalima and Figueroa after surgery in hospital bed

Two Long Island best friends show that their 30-year friendship can even survive kidney disease.

Eleanor Lalima and Lisa Figueroa have been best friends since the first grade, and now, more than three decades after they first met, Figueroa saved Lalima’s life by donating her kidney. 

Lalima has been battling a hereditary kidney disease since she was a teenager, alongside losing both her mother and brother to the same illness. 

When Lalima learned that the next stage of her treatment included a transplant, she put out a call for help on Facebook. Several of her family members and friends reached out right away.

When Figueroa learned that her friend needed a donor,  she did not hesitate to get tested.  “I felt right away that this is what I was supposed to do. And I was going to give my kidney and it was going to make it all better.” she told Inside Edition. 

The friend told Inside Edition that because she watched her classmate’s mother and brother lose their battle with the disease, she knew she had to donate her kidney for her friend and her family’s memory.

Luckily, Figueroa learned she was a perfect match, and on May 25, the two women went in for surgery at Stony Brook University Hospital. 

The surgery was a success and the friends were discharged within a week.

“Just when you think a lifelong friendship can’t be any stronger, you share a kidney,” said Figueroa.

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