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“Buckle up, we’re gonna do this again;” Liver donor prepares to donate kidney nearly two years later

Updated: Apr 24, 2022

by: Jen Lask, Jennifer Roscoe

Posted: Dec 25, 2020 / 10:44 PM CST/ Updated: Dec 25, 2020 / 10:44 PM CST

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — A woman who donated her liver in February 2019 is preparing to donate a kidney in January 2021.

WCIA first introduced you to Renee Sample, a grandmother with poly cystic kidney disease, back in May this year. She was on dialysis and on a waiting list for a deceased kidney donor. The list was several years long, and Sample feared she didn’t have that kind of time.

As it turned out, an “Angel Among Us” was watching.

Early last year, Jody Wilkey shared her story with WCIA’s Jennifer Roscoe. In 1983, the then 20-year-old had a chance encounter with a girl on her flight to Spain.

Wilkey and Kari Kielblock kept in touch for a few years after that, but the two eventually lost contact after getting married and taking on their husbands’ last names. In the summer of 2018, Wilkey wrote about her dream trip to Spain and the friend she made, tagging her in the post with the hopes that Kielblock would see it.

She did.

The two started writing and talking once again. Kielblock, now Huseth, eventually told Wilkey she was dying and desperately needed a liver transplant. A living donor was her best chance at survival. Wilkey told her she wanted to help. Final testing at Mayo Clinic revealed she was a match and they had the green light to move forward with surgery.

Wilkey said it was an amazing experience that she wanted to repeat.