FOX 32 NEWS - What do you say to someone who's given you the gift of life? Well, FOX 32 heard the words Thursday when the man who will receive a life-saving kidney transplant met the donor for the first time face-to-face.
"Somebody order a kidney or what?" said donor Justin Maduena.
Maduena had never met Stewart Botsford until that moment. Yet, they now share a lifesaving bond.
Next Tuesday, one of Maduena kidneys will be transplanted into Botsford’s body.
FOX 32 first met Stewart last May. The 54-year-old Arlington Heights resident was suffering from stage four renal failure and needed a kidney to live. But the waiting list is three to five years, which is too long for his wife, Laura.
"She says I'm gonna get you a kidney. And I'm going to work on it,” Botsford said.
Laura had an idea, which was installing window signs for all three of the family's cars.
"My daughter's is Dad needs a kidney. Stewart's is I need a kidney. And mine is my husband needs a kidney. It's overwhelming,” Laura said.
Days after that story aired, someone took a picture of their daughter Samantha’s car and put it on Facebook where it was seen by Melinda Maduena in Springfield, who immediately e-mailed it to her Type O husband.
"It was within a matter of two minutes that he got the picture. He pulled over. He was at work, pulled over and made the phone call. Yeah, he didn't think twice about it,” Melinda said.
"I just put myself in his shoes. I have six children and a wife. And I would hope if nobody matched me, that somebody would step forward and do it too,” Maduena said.
FOX 32: What was your reaction when you heard someone had stepped forward?
"Oh... I was like, unbelievable. Shocked. Happy. Joy,” Botsford said.
Botsford and Maduena say they both hope this isn't the end of the story. They hope other people see this and decide to make a donation of their own.
"I really hope it does. They always say if this helps one person. No, that won't make me happy. I hope it makes a thousand people do this. Or at least look into it,” Maduena said.
FOX 32: In a couple more days a little piece of you is going to be inside of you.
"We'll be related. I'm closer to him than I am some of my brothers,” Botsford said while laughing.