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Transplant Stories: College Buddies, Kidney Buddies

Randy and Dan hadn't spoken in 20 years, but when one of them needed a kidney, the other gave his friend the gift of life.


Randy Adamsick & Daniel Appleby

Randy Adamsick is no stranger to kidney disease. He and his two brothers were all diagnosed with PKD and all three needed new kidneys in their sixties. Since PKD is hereditary, his options for living kidney donors were pretty limited. His wife was not a match. 

“If you don’t have a likely donor in your family, you’re often out of luck. You don’t know where your donor will come from. Don’t hide your diagnosis – spread the word! Do whatever it takes to get the word out about your kidney need.”

And Randy did just that.  He began posting calls on Facebook. Despite being very worried for the future, Randy and his family decided to participate in the NKFI’s 2016 Walk for Kidneys. He’d just been added to the transplant waiting list and was scheduled to begin dialysis in the fall.

Randy posted photos from the Walk and mentioned again that he was in need of a kidney donor. Then everything changed.  Dan Appleby, Randy’s college friend he hadn’t seen in over 20 years, volunteered! Dan and Randy were a perfect match and on September 29, 2016, Dan’s kidney became Randy’s. 

Randy says, “It’s a lot to ask of someone and it takes an unusual kind of person.  We were friends but we hadn’t spoken in 20 years. He stepped up and gave me my life back. Now I can see my grandkids grow up. It’s just astounding.”

The friends have rekindled their friendship and have now teamed up to spread the word about living donation through the Organ Donor Advocacy Project. Their goal is to target those who participate in extreme sports to get them excited about saving lives and continuing to pursue their health. Read more about taking the Ultimate Challenge here.

Read more about Randy and Dan’s story here.

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