Sisters Donate Their Kidneys to Strangers in Honor of Their Dad Who Passed Away Last Fall
Two sisters honored their late father by donating their kidney to total strangers and making sure other families didn't have to suffer the way they did.
Bethany and Hannah Goralski from Chicago are two young, healthy sisters who each donated one of their kidneys to families who needed it. They believe their father, Mark Goralski, would be proud of them if he were alive.
The sisters went on to "Good Morning America" to talk about the decision they made after losing their dad to Crohn's disease and subsequent kidney failure. After a long battle, he died in September 2018. The girls set up their procedures a month after.
Bethany said she had wanted to give her father her kidney, but "he wasn't healthy enough for a transplant." Mark had already received one in 2011. He also had a legacy of giving, which inspired his daughters to do the same after his death.
Bethany said she was also motivated "to make sure two less families had to go through what we went through." The sisters donated their kidneys within 24 hours of each other.
Hannah said she felt it would have been "selfish" to keep her kidney with the knowledge she had of affected families. After donating her kidney, she felt "amazing."
The surgeries took place in March at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Hannah believes her and her sister did what their father would also have done had he been in their position.
The sisters hope their actions will cause a chain effect and inspire others to donate organs, especially persons around their ages, which is they say is "ideal." Bethany's recovery time was only about 10 days.
Hannah added that she's "never had any major health issues" besides wisdom teeth removal, so she "bounced back very quickly." Despite the risks that come with the operation, she said she simply asked herself, "why wait?"
"If someone’s dying now and I can help them now, hopefully by then when I’m older I’ll look back and say, ‘I’m glad I didn’t wait.'”
The two families that the sisters donated to didn't have to reach out, but oftentimes people are forced to make a loud appeal to the public and hope they receive help.
For example, back in November a Pittsburgh woman showed up at a hockey game with a large sign requesting a kidney from the audience. Kelly Sowatsky was looking for the organ for herself after getting infected.
The sign read "Calling all hockey fans! I need a kidney! Kidney! Kidney! Gratefully yours, Kelly,” followed by her phone number. A picture of it went viral online and the 31-year-old was lucky enough to get a response.
Jeff Lynd, a Delaware hockey fan, was destined to be Sowatsky's donor. Motivated by her courage and obligated by her desperation, he and Sowatsky underwent the transplant in Pennsylvania and the woman's life was saved.