Minnesota man gets much-needed kidney for Christmas

Longer than his six-year-old daughter has been alive, Charley Boyum has been on a transplant list, waiting for a new kidney.

“I think of my daughter a lot,” said Boyum. “It's sad to think that I might not be there for her.”

At 14 years old, Charley was diagnosed with end stage renal failure. Even after one kidney transplant when he was a teenager, he requires dialysis every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in order to live.

“I’m excited for him to go through a good day and actually have a good day,” said Boyum’s girlfriend, Lisa Peterson.

Two years ago, Doris Cameron walked into his family's life after watching a video Charley shared on social media. People from all over the country reached out to him, but it's Doris from right in Charley's hometown of Anoka, who ended up being the perfect match.

“I just knew that I was supposed to,” said Cameron. “I believe in divine intervention and I just felt like it was something I was called to do.”

“There's been hundreds of people that have went to get tested. It just happened to be her,” said Boyum. “It's amazing.”

Doris is a nurse at Mercy Hospital, and has been a longtime advocate for organ donation, especially living donors. She tried to give her kidney to a friend once before, but it didn't work out.

“Most recently, my brother passed away waiting for a heart and I always thought organ donation is something everyone should think about doing,” said Cameron.

Finally, at 31 and 61 years old, they have transplant surgery set for Dec. 29. In the process, they’ve developed a bond like no other.

“It's a huge Christmas gift, huge! I couldn't ask for anything more,” said Boyum.

Boyum’s transplant is considered high risk, so he will be spending a month near the Mayo Clinic for observation after the transplant.

If you would like to donate or follow his story, click here.