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Strangers become life-long friends after grad student donates kidney to Sarasota father

Strangers become lifelong friends after kidney donation WFTS ERIK.png
Posted at 3:55 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 12:17:23-04

LARGO — A Sarasota father and University of Pittsburgh grad student have become life-long friends after a kidney transplant surgery at Florida Hospital Largo.

Madelyn Czekalski, who is studying to be a physician assistant at the University of Pittsburgh, said she actually wanted to donate her kidney but just needed to find the right person to give it to.

“Truly what led me to doing this is knowing that quality of life on dialysis is really bad. And giving someone your kidney, which you don’t even need, can give them years and years of life back that they couldn’t have before,” said Czekalski.

Czekalski received an email about an alumnus of the same program named Guy Guimond who moved to Sarasota four years ago. The 46-year-old father of three had a kidney disease and needed a transplant as soon as possible.

“It said type A or O. And I said 'I’m type O. Let's go for it,'” said Czekalski.

“It has to be a remarkable person to do that. Who’s in second year of grad school going through what she’s going through. Obviously, it’s a remarkable young lady,” said Guimond.

The surgery, less than a week ago at Florida Hospital Largo, was a success.

Guy had his first follow-up appointment on Wednesday and got to say one more thank you to the woman who made it all possible.

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“There are still good people out there who do things for no…other than help somebody else,” said Guimond.

“Now I feel like I have a friend forever and he’s a PA as well. It’s definitely a relationship that I’m not even quite sure how to explain. But it’s one I’ll have for life,” said Czekalski.

For more information on kidney donations, go to kidney.org/transplantation.