Wisconsin husband and wife perfect match for kidney donation

Since they got married more than 20 years ago, Corey O'Neil and Julie Skog-O'Neil always knew they were a perfect match. They just didn't realize how true that sentiment would become many years later.

"It's truly amazing to think that you have another part that could save somebody's life," said Skog-O'Neil. 

In 2007, O'Neil was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disorder where cysts grow on the kidneys.

"Those cysts get bigger, and you get more of them, and they take over the good tissue and make [your kidney] not work," said O'Neil. 

He was placed on the national donor registry and the agonizing wait began.

"They said it could happen right away, or it could be up to two years," said O'Neil. 

In the meantime, Skog-O'Neil decided to begin the medical testing process to see if she could by chance donate one of her kidneys to her husband. A few weeks later, they miraculously learned they were each other's perfect match.

"It isn't a very normal occurrence...it's pretty cool," said Skog-O'Neil. "For me, being a donor has always been a no-brainer."

Soon after, the two had successful surgeries at Mayo Clinic. The couple recently had a follow-up visit and so far, things are looking great.

In honor of Donate Life Month this April, they are sharing their story in the hopes of inspiring others to make the life-saving decision to become donors.  

"I'd like to tell people that it's a lot less scary than you think it's going to be," said Skog-O'Neil.