MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Strangers living more than 1,000 miles apart were connected on Facebook and now are forever linked because of a kidney.
When an Atlanta-based Delta flight attendant was dying from kidney disease, he desperately searched high and low for a donor, finally finding a match right here in Minneapolis.
Kimberly Rynders runs a Minneapolis non-profit focused on helping single moms, and her lifeline to connect with the world is Facebook.
But she never imagined it would be the social networking site that would one day give her the chance to save someone's life.
“I think the stars aligned, and David and I crossed paths at the right time," she said.
David Serrano was battling stage five kidney failure, spending long hours isolated in his bedroom on dialysis.
Serrano, who reported he would have to wait five years for a kidney from a deceased donor in Georgia, instead went looking for a more immediate solution.
"It's hard to be put in a position and ask someone, ‘Hey can I have an organ?" he said.
Despite that awkwardness, Serrano posted his plea for a living donor everywhere - on his car, on flyers, and of course on Facebook.
That's where Kimberly saw it late one night last fall and just knew.
“I sent him a message that basically said something to the gist of, ‘Hey so I think my kidney is supposed to be in your body. How can we make it happen?’” she said.
Within weeks, Kimberly was on her way to Atlanta, and tests miraculously revealed that she was a perfect match.
Right after Christmas, the surgery was done.
Kimberly parted with her second kidney, and David is now healthy, on a crusade to get others thinking about donating.
"Kimberly Rynders gave me my life back,” he said. “We need more people to look into donation. There are more than 5,000 people who need a kidney in Georgia right now."
FOX 9 asked Kimberly if the friendship with David will continue long into the future. “Absolutely. Absolutely,” Kimberly said. “We've become very close. I don't think you go through this process without creating a significant bond."
Rynders reports that health-wise, she is doing fabulously and was right back to full strength within a week of the surgery.
She's really hoping her story shows others just how easy it is to be a living kidney donor and how much of a difference you can make in another person's life.