Eagan, Minn. beauty queen met her kidney donor down the hall

"I did go through some deep, deep depression," said Ellen Rorman.

Rorman, a former Miss Eagan, is used to smiling for a crowd, but often, she felt more like crying in the dark.

"In the beginning, I thought I couldn't handle it, but I've learned I'm a lot stronger than I think I am," she said.

At 23, Rorman has had more surgeries than years of life. She had a transplant at 18, but then at 21 she suffered kidney failure and now has 12 hours of dialysis every week.

She has also been anxiously awaiting a donor. Through a series of coincidences, that donor will be Chelsey Larson, a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota.

"I knew I was the one, I knew. There was no doubt in my mind that I would give her my kidney," said Larson.

As fate would have it, at one point, both Larson and Rorman lived in the same off-campus house.

"I lived with seven of my best friends, and we were all really close, and one of them was going to study abroad," said Larson.

In January 2013, shortly after replying to an ad for an open bedroom, Rorman moved into the house. Rorman, the stranger to the house full of best friends, mainly kept to herself, but did confide in Larson of her need for a kidney.

While Rorman eventually moved out (and eventually had to drop out of college to due to dialysis needs), and Larson eventually graduated, the conversation stuck with Larson — who has always looked up to her aunt, a kidney donor to a stranger.

"It started out with just a questionnaire online. You had to know her name and birthdate, which I did not know her birthdate so I had to creep on her Facebook," Larson said.

It was in February that Larson learned she was a match.

"She is my miracle. She really is," Rorman said of Larson.

The lessons of fate and giving haven't been lost on either of the women.

"Everything in my life leading up to what I've gone through has been for a reason. And it's been so I can help Ellen. It's crazy to think that," Larson said.

For now, Rorman is excited for what the future can bring.

"This will give me my life back. I get to go to school, have a job, a family. I get to live my life. And I'm so, so grateful for that."

Rorman plans to return to college where she wants to study nursing.

The transplant is scheduled for May 29th.

For information on becoming a donor, visit http://donatelife.net/


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