Huntsville woman felt “called” to give kidney to non-family member

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How far would you go to help someone?  Someone who isn't a family member?

If it were life and death, how far would you go?  Offer them money to pay medical bills?   Offer them a home?

Would you offer them part of you?

A Huntsville woman did just that.  Stephanie Emerson and Christina Anuszewski have a very unique story.

Emerson's working life is about helping people.  She's on her feet all day.  Working the pharmacy at Star Market for almost 15 years now, she knows "the family" well.  By "the family" we mean  the regulars who come in almost daily.

Christina Anuszewski is one of them.  In her late 20s, she was diagnosed with hypertension.

Her health eventually deteriorated over 30 years to the point she needed a kidney.

On August 4 of this year, Stephanie donated a kidney to Christina.  Friends for a few years, not relatives, but now tied together through time.

"I had prayed about it," Stephanie said.

Stephanie is a mother and soon-to-be a grandmother. She also has a dear boyfriend who didn't leave her side during the journey to help Christina.

The easy question... Why put yourself through that for someone to whom you are not related?

"God put me here for a reason, and I think this is one reason," said Stephanie.

And for that, Christina is grateful.  The quality of her life is much improved, and her long-term prognosis is very good.

"I have much more energy to do things," she said.  "I'm a little over three months out and I've already applied for many jobs."

For Stephanie, life goes on at Star Market.

For Christina, recovery is steady, and she is much stronger and still looking for work.

Here's something interesting that cropped up after the surgery.

Christina, from Long Island originally, had never eaten gravy and biscuits until she received Stephanie's kidneys.
Then, she started craving it.

The theory is called cellular memory.

Both Stephanie and Christina are doing great.  We wish them many more happy years of good health and close friendship.

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