Lowcountry mom of two donates kidney to a stranger

posted by Erica Scripa, WCIV - 

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A Lowcountry mom made a decision to become an organ donor and it all started with a Facebook post. She saw a little girl in need of a kidney so she got tested to see if she was a match.

Mindy Runk is mom to 9-year-old Ava and 6-year-old-mason. "I love spending time with my family I enjoy my kids and immensely," said Runk.

But she says another child's story caught her eye.

"She kind of reminded me of my own daughter and just to see how desperate the need was for her," said Runk. She's talking about Mary Ashley Barbot a child with kidney disease.

ABC News 4 has been telling you about her since 2014.

Runk hoped she'd be a match, "Sadly I wasn't but MUSC offered that I still could go forward as an anonymous donor," said Runk. 3 months later she got a call.

"I was very excited, very excited. Going into it I was told and I was ok with the fact that everyone had to be in agreement to meet, everyone involved so I knew there was a possibility it would stay anonymous forever," said Runk.

But her last day in the hospital, "It happened pretty quickly, we went into a patient room and we all got to meet and talk about who we were and how we got to be there together it was really great," said Runk.

David DeStefano is the President and CEO of We Are Sharing Hope SC.

He says donors like Runk give people a second chance.

"You get to see life from death you get to see something positive come from something negative and you get to turn a tragedy to a second chance at life. These donors and their families are really heroes," said DeStefano.

Runk will be at the 13th annual Sharing Hope Race for Life this weekend. It's Sharing Hope's biggest fundraiser of the year.

There's a half mile, 5-k, and 10-k. It's at the James Island county park at 9am on Saturday morning. Sign up here.

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