Fight to cure debilitating kidney disease continues after miracle kidney donation

Posted at 9:04 PM, Apr 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-21 21:04:59-04

We have a heartwarming update to a story we first told you about back in 2015. You may remember, a Tinder date, not making a love connection, but brining together a kidney donor with a woman in desperate need. That kidney recipient is doing much better, but the fight to cure Polycystic Kidney Disease is still going strong. 

Richard O’Dea just ran the Boston Marathon.

“When there’s pain, you’re struggling through the race, and you think about all the people that you run for,” O’Dea said.

One person he’s running for is Erika Bragan, a close friend with Polycystic Kidney Disease, who received a badly-needed kidney back in 2015. O’Dea helped make that donation happen.

“I can’t believe it, I mean I still sit here and I have the most beautiful kidney put into my body from someone I did not know,” Bragan said. 

That donor was someone O’Dea met on Tinder, and while their romantic relationship didn’t last, Bragan got a new kidney and a close friend.

“Now it’s just, it’s a whole new world,” she said.

“I like to think I was in the right place at the right time,” O’Dea said.

“It’s amazing to me to have someone just put not only their time and effort but a piece of them out there and say this is how I’m going to help you have a better life,” Bragan said.

Now that life is much better, the fight to cure PKD continues. O’Dea will run another marathon in Chicago in October.

“I don’t know if its fate it’s hard to describe but it’s definitely a blessing in my life,” O’Dea said.

Team Tampa PKD will also be involved with the Walk for PKD at Fort Desoto Park October 14, 2017.

Since inception, they have competed in 9 major marathons as part of the Run for PKD and raised $140,000 for the PKD Foundation.