Man Who Received Kidney Transplant Marries His Organ Donor

What better way to say thank you?

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In a story straight out of a Hollywood movie, an Indiana man in need of a kidney, and the woman who provided the necessary organ, have married. The ceremony took place three years after the life-saving operation.

Kyle Froelich was diagnosed with a fatal kidney disorder when he was 12 years old, and by senior year of high school, he was in dire need of a transplant. Dozens of friends and family members had offered Froelich one of their kidneys, but none of the prospective donors had been a match. Doctors estimated that the 19-year-old had one more year to live.

Then Froelich met Chelsea Clair, and everything changed.

As the Indianapolis Star reports, the couple met at a local car show. The two took a liking to each other, and spent the day driving around in Clair’s new Camaro. Within hours of meeting Froelich, and without quite knowing why, Clair told him the words that would change his life: “I’m going to give you my kidney.”

At first, Froelich was grateful for his new friend’s generosity, but skeptical about whether the offer would pan out.  After so many failed matches, he was used to being let down. However, four weeks after meeting Clair for the first time, he finally received some good news. The two were a perfect match, and the long transplant process could begin. Six months later, Froelich and Clair woke up on separate operating tables — each with one working kidney. According to the Star, both immediately asked if other was alright.

On October 12, 2013, three years after Clair’s generosity saved Froelich’s life, the couple was married at the Danville Conservation Club. The venue had hosted the car show where the Clair and Froelich first met. The festivities will not end with the wedding.  Every year since the transplant, the two have thrown a party to celebrate the operation’s anniversary. The event, called “Sparkypalooza” after Froelich’s new kidney was affectionately named “Sparky,” features Clair dressed in a t-shirt with a drawing of her missing organ.

“There’s a bond that no one else, unless they’ve done it, can know,” said Froelich, now the father of two children — one from Clair’s previous marriage. “She’s my best friend.”

Clair joked that her love for Froelich might be based on more selfish motives.

“He’s carrying around my kidney,” Clair told the Star. “I have to make sure he takes care of that.”