JACKSONVILLE, Fla — “Do you mind if I give away a body part?" Jennifer Bowman said to her husband one day.
"He goes no I don’t care. Wait a minute, which one? Wait a minute. Who are you giving what to?!” Bowman said.
Bowman recalls the day she found out she was a match for an acquaintance of hers who needed a kidney. She never told her husband she signed up to be a living donor.
April 7 is Living Donor Day, bringing awareness to the way you can save the life of someone you love or maybe even a stranger like Bowman did.
The plea for a kidney began on Facebook.
Melanie Taylor needed a kidney, and she didn’t want to wait for the transplant list to get to her. That could take years.
She posted online a cry for help. Her cry was answered.
“I just took the bull by the horns and put it out there," Taylor said.
A post on Facebook doesn’t seem like much when your life is on the line.
“I actually was born with polycystic kidney disease, so I’ve known for a long time that that was a possibility, but at the same time I hoped to prolong it as much as possible," Taylor said.
She said several of her other family members have had a kidney transplant in the past. Now it was her turn, but she needed a match.
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It was 2019 when Taylor's kidneys began to fail. That's when Bowman’s husband showed her the post.
“I had met Melanie on a couple of occasions, but we didn’t really know each other," Bowman said. "We read the post and talked about it a little, but I never even told my husband that I filled the paperwork out.”
It’s as easy as that. Put in your information with the hospital -- hers was Mayo Clinic -- and wait. Bowman was a match.
“Now we’re family," Taylor said.
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On May 1, 2020, Bowman gave Taylor her kidney. No hesitation.
“It really is a very easy process. I would say giving birth was more of a process than doing this," said Bowman.
Kidney and liver transplants can all be done via a living donor. Most of the sign ups are online through hospitals.
You can learn how to sign up to be a living donor at Mayo Clinic here.
Bowman and Taylor share posts often of people searching for a living donor hoping someone as generous as Bowman is on the other side of the screen.