Life
Overweight Woman Loses Weight So She Can Donate Kidney To Friend
We need more people like her in this world
Jonathan Maes
06.10.17

The 33-year-old Rebekah Ceidro from Pittsburgh decided to change her lifestyle radically and lost about 40 pounds. While inspirational weight loss stories pop up now and then, Rebekah certainly had her reasons to drop the weight.

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Bekah Ceidro
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Bekah Ceidro

One day, Rebekah saw a Facebook post by one of her friends, Chris Moore.

Unfortunately, Chris had been dealing with chronic kidney issues for his whole life and received very unsettling news from his doctors. His kidney issue worsened, and doctors told him that he would require a transplant, or else he would be required to make weekly trips to the dialysis.

“I just kept seeing the post and it would tug at my heart. You don’t think about things like that when you are 30 years old. You think about when you are going to get married, not ‘How am I going to save my own life?’” Rebekah said to TODAY.

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Bekah Ceidro
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Bekah Ceidro

“I didn’t see any call for action. I didn’t see any people saying, ‘What can I do to help?’ And I just thought I had to do something.”

After seeing the heartfelt post by Chris, Rebekah decided to send her friend a message. She wanted to donate one of her kidneys right away.

The following is an excerpt from the Facebook conversation:

Rebekah: Hey. so i saw the facebook thing. Have you found a potential donor yet?

Chris: Hey. No I haven’t found a donor yet. I guess a bit of waiting period is to be expected though. … The main thing is blood type and tissue compatibility. I’m type O.

Rebekah: So you just need someone with type O then? Because I will gladly offer you one of mine.

Chris: You don’t even know how much encouragement you just gave me.

Ceidro: Chris, i can’t imagine the fear and stress of what you’re going through. Nobody deserves that type of uncertainty. … To my knowledge my kidneys are well functioning so i would gladly give you one.

Chris: There aren’t words for how thankful I am.

Unfortunately, there was one slight issue and the kidney donation couldn’t proceed as planned. Although the two shared the same blood type, doctors told Rebekah that she was too heavy to donate her kidney. She weighed 213 pounds and was required to have a Body Mass Index value of 32 or lower.

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UPMC
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UPMC

Rebekah was initially quite upset but understood the doctors as there was additional risk involved. A donation could eventually lead to a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes and could even lead to kidney disease.

“Admittedly, I was really angry that two individual surgeons would have the audacity to say such a thing, but they were right,” the brave woman told TODAY. “My actual thought was, ‘I’m too fat to save my friend’s life.’ And that sucked, but that’s at least something you can change.”

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Bekah Ceidro
Source:
Bekah Ceidro

Immediately, Rebekah decided to throw her old lifestyle away and began to monitor her physical activity and nutrition. The company she works at, Eat’n Park, also holds a 5-mile race, and being able to participate was Rebekah’s target goal.

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Bekah Ceidro
Source:
Bekah Ceidro

Rebekah started to run daily. Slowly but surely, she reached the point of being able to run five miles. A couple of months passed and Rebekah proudly lost 40 pounds. The woman even finished the UPMC Health Plan Half Marathon in her hometown of Pittsburg in just a little over three hours.

The surgery is scheduled to take place within the next few months. And after the surgery, Rebekah has already set her sights on a new goal: running the full Pittsburgh Marathon in the following year.

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Bekah Ceidro
Source:
Bekah Ceidro

A truly inspirational and heartwarming story!

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By Jonathan Maes
hi@sbly.com
Jonathan Maes is a contributing writer at Shareably. He is based out of Belgium and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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