A man was so affected by a letter he received in an eBay package that he donated a kidney years later to a complete stranger.
When 53-year-old Ray Duffy saw the heartbreaking note in his partner’s eBay purchase, he wanted to do something to help. The seller had explained that they were selling things online in order to make ends meet after her husband, who needed a kidney transplant, lost his job. Duffy wasn’t sure how he could meaningfully aid them, but he was so moved that he kept the note.
“Back in 2013, my partner bought a top in eBay and it arrived wrapped up in brown wrapping paper which the sender had hand-drawn cartoons of animals all over,” Duffy said.
“She had also written a thank you note explaining that her husband was on the transplant waiting list, had lost his job, and that now they would sell things they didn’t need on eBay so they could buy their kids a treat. She said that she drew the pictures to put a smile on people’s faces as they had helped her put a smile on her children’s faces. I’ll never forget it.”
Duffy, who is an operations manager from Gordon, Scottish Borders, thought that he would like to donate a kidney, but he didn’t know if it was possible.
A few years later, Duffy was driving and listening to the radio when he heard an interview with a man who had donated a kidney.
“That was the lightbulb moment,” he said. “I just knew I was going to do it. I registered in November and started the assessment process straight away.”
In March 2017, after a year of mental, physical, and medical assessments to ensure his fitness, Duffy underwent surgery and became a kidney donor.
“It was a very humbling experience to be able to do something like that for someone else. I know it’s not for everyone and it’s a huge decision but for me it just felt right,” Duffy said.
But the story doesn’t end there. To raise awareness of organ donation, Duffy is climbing the Old Man of Hoy sea stack in Orkney.
“Mr. Duffy’s climbing challenge is brilliant because it shows that donors come back to 100% health after donating,” said Give a Kidney chairman Chris Jones.
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