WESTWOOD (CBSLA) — A widowed mother of four has been battling an illness for years, but a stranger has come forward who could possibly save her life.
“Two years ago, both of my kidneys failed, and I’ve been on dialysis since,” 47-year-old Natalie De of Santa Clarita told CBS2 News. She was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease 11 years ago, a disease which claimed her father’s life. Natalie, however, was determined to fight the illness.
“The prognosis was very, very difficult for me to comprehend, but I have four little children, and it was like a move that I had to make to make sure that I’m able to be here and care for my sons,” the widow said.
Enter Terri Miller.
“I think it was almost immediate that I just felt like I wanted to reach out and try to help her,” Miller said. She’s a technician in the pathology department at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital near Santa Clarita, where she said helping people comes naturally to her.
Miller found out about De’s situation through social media and wanted to lend a hand — or give a kidney, in this case.
“God put it on my heart to do it, and I just — just helping another human being,” said the Good Samaritan. “She has four children, and she’s a single mom, and it just felt like the right thing to do.”
Miller went through a series of tests to find out if she was match for De’s transplant. Two months later, they found out she was.
The surgery is slated for a few weeks from now, but the two former strangers are now family.
“Thank you, from the bottom of my heart about what you’re doing here,” De told Miller Monday as the women held hands.
“You’re very welcome,” replied Miller.
“Thank you for being so selfless and giving,” De continued.
“It’s an honor for me to be able to help you and your family, so I’m very glad that I’m able to do it,” Miller responded.
They said they hope their story of hope will bring awareness to the need for organ donors.
“You can be a living donor, and I’m gonna be able to go on with the rest of my life perfectly normal, and she will, too,” said Miller.