Deciding to donate a kidney can be a big decision. Donating to someone you've never met is a whole different story. That wasn't an issue for one Mississippi woman who helped out a man in Oklahoma.
Just a little over a week ago, Anna Cannington donated her kidney to 43-year-old Dustin Rippetoe.
“I said, I think I can do that, I think I can help this person,” she recalled.
Rippetoe has Berger's disease, which is a disease that occurs when an antibody called “immunoglobulin A” builds up in your kidneys and causes inflammation that, over time, can hamper a kidney’s ability to filter waste from the blood.
Rippetoe went on the transplant list in late 2017.
“It was pretty grim,” he said.
Two other donors, a friend and family member, had fallen through.
Cannington lives on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, and she saw a story on the local news about someone donating a kidney to a stranger. That motived her to contact Rippetoe, who is a member of the same strength training community.
“I was a little surprised, but I wasn’t in position to say no. I look at my 4-year-old son. I have to be there for him,” said Rippetoe. “There was no hesitation.”
There was no hesitation for Cannington either, and on Monday she gave her right kidney to Rippetoe.
“Everyone says a stranger gave you a kidney,” said Rippetoe. “A stranger didn’t give me a kidney, just someone I hadn’t met yet.”
Soon, Cannington and Rippetoe were both up and around. And now, Rippetoe says he feels better than he has in years.
“That one courageous act, she saved my life and let me be a rough and tumble dad to my 4-year-old,” he said.
Cannington hopes that her story, just like the one she saw, can motivate others to do the same.
“Everybody has that thing they can do to help somebody, help your community, help that individual, and when you see that thing, just go do it,” she said. “This was that thing for me.”
If you are interested in becoming a donor click here and/or here.