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Anonymous kidney donor turns out to be surprise of a lifetime

KMBC Kansas City logo KMBC Kansas City 8/31/2018
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Two Kansas City-area sorority sisters now share a bond they never expected.

And it all started with a secret. One of them was holding on to news that would change both of their lives.

Doncella Liggins has kidney disease. She was on a transplant waiting list when she got the news of a match - an anonymous donor.

And that's where this huge surprise starts.

Doncella and Beverly Burch have been friends and sorority sisters for decades - living in the small town of Butler, Missouri.

Both were thrilled when doctors at Saint Luke's told Doncella they'd found a donor kidney.

"I said 'WHAT?' And he said, 'Yeah, there's a match.' And I said, 'Who?'" said Doncella. "He said, 'Well, I can't tell you. The only thing I can tell you is that they're young and healthy.'"

For the next six months, Beverly was hiding a secret. She was that anonymous donor.

Doncella Liggins and Beverly Burch © Screengrab via Beverly Burch Doncella Liggins and Beverly Burch

But she couldn't decide whether or not to tell her friend.

"I was afraid something was going to jinx it," said Beverly.

So, she waited until the eleventh hour. The day before the transplant.

Beverly handed her friend a card that said, "Looking forward to sharing part of my life with you - let's do this."

"At that moment I realized who it was," said Doncella. "And I went, 'Oh my gosh, it's you! It's you!' And she told me she's known since November."

The two have been recovering together since the surgery. Their story has touched a lot of people, including their surgeon.

"This is not just a story of friendship and love, but of heroism. And to step forward and donate part of oneself to save the life of another," said Dr. Eddie Isalnd.

The friends say they hope their story encourages others to consider being a living donor.

"I would absolutely do it again in a heartbeat," said Beverly. "But I really need my other kidney."

READ MORE:Anonymous kidney donor turns out to be surprise of a lifetime

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