MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. - Lots of people like their co-workers, but would you give one of your colleagues a kidney? That’s what Jennifer Millamaci did Steve Arellano.
Arellano and Millamaci are both managers at a Florida restaurant, and they are also friends. When Arellano was 40, he lost one of his kidneys to cancer, and the other was severely weakened.
He was placed on a kidney donor list, and while he waited for a transplant, he endured 12-hour dialysis sessions. When a match finally came up, he decided to allow someone who was in worse condition to take his place.
Meanwhile, Arellano’s co-workers watched his health slowly decline. Millamaci decided she couldn’t take it any longer. She got tested, and discovered she was a match.
Arellano wouldn’t ask, but Millamaci didn’t hesitate to insist that they undergo the surgery.
“It’s weird, I know people think I am crazy. I am not nervous. I am not scared,” she told FOX 13 Tampa Bay. “If anything, I am excited because he is going to be getting another chance.”
While it will take some time for both to recover, Millamaci is expected to be just fine with one kidney-- and the transplant will save Arellano’s life.
If you want to help with the cost of their bills while they recover, a GoFundMe has been set up on behalf of Arellano and Millamaci.