Southern Illinois girl gives the gift of life to a classmate

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WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. – Makenzey Lane is proactive when it comes to her life.

“Whenever I put out the Facebook post I wasn’t necessarily asking for anyone to donate,” said Makenzey Lane, kidney recipient. “I wasn’t expecting her to comment. I always liked her and she’s one of those people that post on Facebook and I liked her stuff. I never thought she’d give me a kidney.”

When the West Frankfort, Illinois resident found out she was in kidney failure and needed a transplant, Lane took to Facebook, asking if anyone would be a donor.

“I was like, ‘I’ve got good blood,’” said Ashura Lenard, kidney donor. “I donate blood as much as I can so I was like, ‘Why not try this?’”

That’s when Lenard, a classmate from their high school home economics class, answered the call – or made one.

“I was really surprised she was willing to go through with it because we barely knew each other,” Lane said.

After a test confirmed they were compatible, the transplant happened February 5 at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.

“I’d be like, ‘Thank you so much, you’re literally saving my life.’ And she’d be like, ‘It’s fine.’ She’s very relaxed about it,” Lane said.

“I just felt like I needed to,” Lenard said. “I’ve put on Facebook that I did this and maybe you can too. I’ll push you in the right direction if you want to try it. I think more people should.”

On Friday—which happens to be National Donor Day—the two friends went in for a follow-up visit.

“I just want to say thank you. I know I’ve told her tons of times but I feel like I couldn’t say it enough,” Lane said. “I don’t know how you thank somebody for literally giving you a piece of them like that. But she’s done the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen anybody do.”


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