CHICAGO (CBS) — Thursday night’s new CBS series “B Positive” was inspired by creator Marco Pennette’s kidney donation experience.
It is a reality for more than 3,000 people in Illinois who are waiting on a donation. CBS 2’s Tara Molina on Thursday night introduced us to one woman whose wait went viral last year – and the donor who stepped in to change her life.
Two lives changed at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center. Toni Barnes Jordan got a second chance at life, while Maranda Proce got a friend for life.
And it was all because of a tweet. One single tweet from Chicago native Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, better known as Chance the Rapper.
“We were sitting on my back deck and he said, ‘I’m going to tweet this right now,’” Jordan said.
That is how it all started.
“We just built a bond ever since then,” Proce said. “I’m incredibly grateful for that single tweet.”
But it wasn’t just any tweet. Jordan is Chance the Rapper’s aunt, and his plea for help about her dire need for a kidney donation went viral – shedding light on the need for organ donors nationwide.
“They told me I didn’t have a chance of getting a living donor if it wasn’t a family member,” Jordan said.
With a rare blood type, a family member wasn’t an option. That left Jordan on the waitlist for kidney, with thousands of others, for seven years.
But then came that tweet, and a 20-year-old woman who was compelled to donate an organ to make the difference.
“I’m meant to do this,” Proce said.
“Maranda is truly an angel from God and I know that,” Jordan said.
According to Gift of Hope, a new person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 10 minutes – and 22 die every day waiting for a transplant.
The longest wait is for a kidney.
“It was so hard,” Jordan said.
Healthy and happy, these two share more than a blood type and a kidney now.
“I couldn’t ask for a better person in my life at this point,” Proce said.
They have gone from strangers to family.
“I said, ‘Why are you doing this?’” Jordan said. “And she said: ‘Just to make a difference. Just to do something and be able to make a difference.”
The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois said there are currently 3,353 people waiting for kidneys in Illinois. In 2019, only 789 people got transplants in Illinois – 449 from deceased donors and 340 from living donors.
The foundation urges more living donors to step up. More information can be found on the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois’ website.