Becky Melton, who also lives in Richmond, saw the Facebook page and decided to get tested. Once she revealed they were a match, their families went to dinner together to meet.
4:33 p.m. EST, February 17, 2012
An Indiana man in need of a kidney found his match through Facebook.
Jerry Wilde is a college professor at IU East in Richmond. He loves music and teaching, but right now, he faces a life-threatening challenge.
For the past two years, Jerry has been on dialysis, following surgery to remove a cancer-ridden kidney. Now, his life could change thanks to a special Facebook page. The ‘Find a Kidney for Jerry’ page was created by one of Jerry’s former students. Three weeks after it was posted, Jerry received a message from a potential donor.
“The message had a picture and it had two kidneys,” said Wilde. “It said, Becky and Jerry and underneath it, it said, we’re a match.”
At first, Jerry was in a state of confusion. He remembers showing the photo to his daughter, neither of them able to figure out who the person was.
It didn’t take long to find out the donor’s identity.
Becky Melton, who also lives in Richmond, saw the Facebook page and decided to get tested. Once she revealed they were a match, their families went to dinner together to meet. Jerry said what Becky did after the dinner shows just the kind of person she is.
“She went home and immediately posted on her Facebook, ‘I just met four new members of my family.’ I always get emotional when I tell that. It’s just so remarkable,” said Wilde.
That remarkable action is now giving Jerry a new outlook on his life
“You just think about getting through today and that’s about as far ahead as you can look,” said Jerry, thinking about life before his upcoming transplant. “Now, you can start thinking about all the things you want to do in life.”
Of course, along with that new outlook, comes a new friend.
“What kind of person would do this?” said Jerry, before offering an answer of his own. “A pretty special one.”
Now, Jerry is hoping another Facebook page will help a fellow dialysis patient find a match.