According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, more than 100,000 Americans are waiting for an organ transplant. One Quest Diagnostics employee with a rare blood type made the very personal decision to become a living organ donor. What makes her generosity even more remarkable is that she did so for a complete stranger.
Girl’s Story ‘Pulled at the Mom Heart Strings’
“When I heard the story of a 16-year-old girl diagnosed with Lupus at age 9 and who was hooked up to a dialysis machine for 8 hours every night, it pulled at the mom heart strings,” said Kelley Bundick, Quest employee and mother of two. “I read her story written in her own words. That, coupled with the fact that only 9% of the U.S. have a B+ blood type, I knew I had to do what I could to save this young girl’s life.”
Kelley, a Women’s Health Account Executive for the last three years in the Atlanta, Georgia area, said that she learned about the girl in need, Mychel Armour, when Mychel’s story was highlighted on a Facebook page she had been following. “I found out we were both B+ blood types, so I called Emory Hospital to begin the process of testing to see if I was a possible match.”
Shortly after that, in December, she made the decision to donate a kidney to Mychel. “From an emotional standpoint, I knew I was healthy enough to donate after going through all of the testing and I had a peace about all of it,” she recalled. “Physically, it wasn’t tough, either. The surgery was on a Friday and I was released on Sunday and back to light work in two weeks.”
Sharing to Inspire
What would Kelley tell others who might be thinking about getting tested and donating? “The transplant team’s first priority is making sure you are healthy enough to donate and that you are not at an above average risk for kidney disease in the future,” she said. “Do your research so you go into it educated and not just on emotion alone.
“I hope that by sharing my story, others may be inspired to do ‘something,’” Kelley added. “Donating a kidney isn’t for everyone, but the challenge is to take a look outside of ourselves to see the needs of others and help in the ways we can. I feel that what I gained from this experience is far greater than what I gave!”
Mychel and Kelly’s journey was profiled by Fox 5 Atlanta. Watch the report below.
For more information about organ donation, visit OrganDonor.gov.