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A kidney for Christmas: Ponte Vedra woman donates organ to sister

Two sisters are traveling to Tampa for the surgery, one joking the new kidney is her Christmas present for her sister.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — It's a Christmas gift that one family won't soon forget. Two sisters left Ponte Vedra this morning to travel down to Tampa for a kidney transplant, the kidney is coming from one sister and going to the other.

“My life is going to change, I’m excited to have energy and be able to do things," Sidnie Anthony, the Kidney recipient, said.

Born with medical complications, Sidnie Anthony lost her right kidney when she was just two years old. She’s 24 now and grew up knowing her remaining kidney could fail.

“They expected to me get one when I was 9 but I never needed one, kinda just like my kidney function and medical took a sharp decline last summer," Sidnie Anthony, the Kideny recipient, said.

Finding a donor is a process that could take years. In 2020, the American Journal of Transplantation reported Nationwide only about 25% of waitlisted patients received a deceased donor kidney transplant within 5 years.

This is where Sidnie’s sister Taylor stepped in.

“The beginning of this year when she hit that stage 5 and the doctors were like it’s time, this process needs to begin. I immediately called and… she’s like yeah you’re a match and this can happen," Taylor Anthony, the Kindey Donor said.

First Coast News sat down with UF heath Dr. Thiago Bedushi who says having a living donor increases the survival rate

“So the survival is higher and the burden for the patient is way less. So there are many advantages and another one, whoever has an available donor, we don’t take a kidney for example that can go to someone who doesn’t have this option," Thiago Beduschi, MD, the director of UF Health's abdominal transplant program, said.

The two sisters are now traveling to Tampa for the surgery. Taylor joking the new kidney is her Christmas present for her sister.

“We’re going to wake up Christmas morning, and she’s going to be healthier and I know she’s going to be healthier and there’s nothing better that we could have asked for anytime of the year let alone at Christmas time," Taylor Anthony said.

The Anthony’s want to help other families going through this process and plan to use Taylor’s cooking skills to raffle off holiday’s dinners, with some of the proceeds going to the Make a Wish Foundation.

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