HOLIDAY, Fla. - One year ago, Christine Curti and Valerie Maupin didn't know each other.
Curti, 50, lives in Holiday, Fl.
Maupin, 24, lives in San Diego, CA.
How they both got here, sitting side-by-side, hand-in-hand, can all be traced back to a Facebook message.
"I am willing to be a donor. I live in San Diego, CA," Maupin wrote in March.
Curti didn't take it seriously at first. Maupin was young. A stranger. Curti had also been through this before, six other potential donors had been tested, but none of them ever panned out.
But Curti wasn't in a position to say no, She was born with only one kidney and only had a third of that kidney left. Doctors said a kidney transplant was essential to her survival. For the past three years, she'd endured dialysis nine hours every night.
She needed this. She wrote back.
"I said are you serious? Really serious?" Curti recalled.
Maupin didn't hesitate. The nursing school student had wanted to donate a kidney to her friend's mother, but when she wasn't a match, she looked to help others.
She found Curti through the Facebook group "Find a Kidney Central."
"I thought why not," said Maupin. "'I have the availability. I have the health. And somebody needs my help. I don't know why I wouldn't do it."
On November 13, she did.
One week later, the prognosis is looking good.
"It's beyond overwhelming, the girl has given me life again," said Curti.
Life and a lifelong friend.
"I mean we're family now," said Maupin.
And to Curti - a wife, a mother, and a grandmother, nothing beats that.
"I want to be here to watch them grow up and she gave me that opportunity," she said through tears.
The National Foundation for Transplants has stepped in to help Curti raise funds to pay for some of her medical expenses.
A fundraiser is planned on Saturday, Nov. 30 from 4 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the VFW post in Port Richey located at 6315 Stone Road.
There is also one in the works for Maupin.
She is expected to be out of work for the next three months while she heals.