Pittsburgh Woman Loses 40 Pounds To Donate Her Kidney To A Friend

May 22, 2017

A Pittsburgh woman has become an inspiration to many after learning she was too heavy to save her friend's life.

good news woman donates kidney
Credit: Rebekah Ceidro

Earlier this year, 33-year-old Rebekah Ceidro saw a Facebook post by Chris Moore, a friend and former co-worker who suffered from chronic kidney disease. Doctors told Moore that in six months to a year, he would require a kidney transplant, or worse, dialysis.

"I just kept seeing the post and it would tug at my heart. You don't think about things like that when you are 30 years old. You think about when you are going to get married, not 'How am I going to save my own life?'" Ceidro told Today.

Ceidro messaged Moore and told him that she wanted to be his donor. And as chance would have it, they shared the same blood type.

Ceidro began the donor process but she hit a bump in the road. At 213 pounds, she was too heavy for her height to be a donor.

"Admittedly, I was really angry that two individual surgeons would have the audacity to say such a thing, but they were right," Ceidro said. "My actual thought was, 'I'm too fat to save my friend's life.' And that sucked, but that's at least something you can change.

"I thought, 'This is what I'm going to do, I'm going to start running and keep running until I can do a 5K every day.'"

good news woman donates kidney
Credit: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

By spring, Ceidro had lost 40 pounds. On May 7, she finished the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon in three hours 14 minutes.

"The marathon was like this mountain that I needed to climb in my own life to see if I could get to the top," Ceidro told TODAY. "It was a feeling like there wasn't anything in the world I couldn't accomplish because I just accomplished this."

Doctors are preparing Moore and Ceidro for surgery within the next three months.

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