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October 02, 2021

Man, 24, Finds Love He Was Looking for on Tinder, but It Came with a Surprise

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A 24-year-old man was in for the grandest surprise of his life when he found his perfect match in love and kidneys in his 28-year-old husband. The young man's life changed forever when he met his soulmate on Tinder. 

Life is full of miraculous moments, and sometimes, a stroke of luck can take us by surprise when we least expect it. Reid Alexander had no idea going on the popular dating application Tinder would fill his life with profound love and new hope. 

The young man was diagnosed with a renal failure condition called Alport syndrome at the age of 17. According to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), it is a genetic disease that damages the blood vessels in the kidneys, causing hearing impairment and eye issues. 

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Talking to PEOPLE, Reid expressed his amazement, adding that he never thought his life could change so drastically in one year. He also shared: 

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"I never would've thought that I would move across the country and meet the love of my life, and then the love of my life would also be a perfect match, and I would get a kidney."

Despite his health condition, Reid decided to move on with his life and completed a Bachelor of Arts in fitness and wellness from Indiana University in Bloomington. He was about to graduate in April 2020 when he got a call regarding his health. 

Unfortunately, his kidneys were only functioning up to 20 percent, making him eligible for a transplant. Moreover, he also had to consider going for dialysis in the coming future. Reid not only graduated college but also moved to Denver, working as a fitness instructor for kids. 

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He had only spent a week in Denver when something made him visit Tinder, where he matched with Rafael, who had moved there from Mexico City 2.5 years ago. They felt a sudden spark and met in person on August 23 last year and have never been apart since then. 

Reid and Rafael shared that they love spending time together, whether it involves laughing at each other's jokes, watching movies, or cooking. In fact, Reid was able to communicate about his health condition to Rafael while cooking dinner one night. 

Reid explained that Rafael was about to add salt to the food, which is something he had to be careful about because it could worsen his condition. Per NKF, consuming a low sodium diet can slow down the progression of Alport syndrome.

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Even though they had been dating for a very short while, Rafael showed interest in Reid's health and expressed a willingness to be his potential donor. In February, Reid's kidneys became so damaged that he was put on dialysis. 

Resultantly, he started feeling weak and dizzy, which also affected his day job. He had to attend three critical dialysis sessions lasting five hours thrice a week but had his family and Rafael to support him along the way. 

The duo got engaged in February 2021. While they were planning for their big day, Reid's health began deteriorating to the point that he needed a kidney transplant. It was then that Rafael checked if he could be a donor, and he was a perfect match. Reid shared his thoughts:

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"He’s given me the opportunity to live a better life, a longer life, and now that I have a healthy kidney, we’re able to live our life to the fullest potential.”

Amidst all the chaos, Reid and Rafael tied the knot in an intimate ceremony on April 9 this year. Because of the size of Rafael's kidney, the doctors in Denver deemed the surgery too risky. 

Ultimately, the couple fled to Indiana University Health Hospital, where the procedure was performed on August 13 this year, which marked nearly one year to the day when they first met in the park. Reid further commented on the matter: 

“We knew we were meant to be, but it just confirmed we were meant to be. Be a donor, it changes your life."

The lovely duo has set up a GoFundMe to help fund their medical expenditure and stay while they are recovering at Reid's parents' home in Kokomo, Indiana. 

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