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November 29th, 2016

A Gift of Life From One Friend to Another

By In the Loop
Lori Allan, left, receive a kidney from her friend Becca Spurr.

Lori Allan (left) and Becca Spurr

They say a friend in need is a friend indeed. And late last year, Lori Allan put that proverb to the test. During a longstanding weekend coffee klatch with close friend Becca Spurr, Lori divulged something she’d long known was a possibility: Her kidneys were failing and she was in need of a transplant.

A medication Lori had been taking for an “unrelated health issue” was the culprit, according to the Mankato Free Press, having damaged her kidneys to the point where doctors told her a transplant was her only option. Becca had been at Lori’s side during “several” of her previous doctor visits, the paper reports, and had thought about donating a kidney to her many times. When she read an article “about a UPS driver who donated a kidney to a co-worker,” she decided to put those thoughts into action. “That’s when I thought, ‘OK, I could do this,’” Becca tells the paper. So when Lori found out she was a candidate for a kidney donation, Becca asked to be tested.

After getting through the initial “barrage of questions about her health and medical history,” the Free Press reports that Becca completed her remaining testing requirements at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Rochester. “They test you very thoroughly to make sure you’re healthy to be able to donate,” she tells the paper. “The great thing is, I was healthy” and — even greater — “I was able to donate to Lori.”

The friends were scheduled for their respective surgeries, with Becca’s surgery beginning about “two hours before doctors prepped” Lori to receive her friend’s kidney. Lori’s transplant procedure went smoothly, and was followed by two weeks recovering at the Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester. “It just went so well, and all my blood work was checking out, so they let me go early,” Lori tells the paper.

Becca is thrilled to have Lori back for their weekend coffee dates. And she calls her role in Lori’s return to health “the hugest thing” she’s ever done. “I don’t have any children, so I guess my kidney was my child, and I gave it to Lori,” Becca tells KEYC News 12. It’s a gesture that’s certainly not lost on Lori. “You can’t even describe what it means to you to have a friend who is willing to give that kind of gift to you,” Lori says. “It’s overwhelming.”

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Tags: Gift of Life Transplant House, Kidney transplant, Patient Stories

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