FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – It’s not your typical love story, but it does have a happy ending.
Ashley Goodwin and Kyle Rebman are getting married June 25. Their walk down the aisle began four years ago when she got sick while donating plasma. He was the technician who took care of her.
“From then on, she always requested my section [at the plasma donation center] and the conversations happened,” said Kyle, telling the story of how they met. “We started dating shortly thereafter.”
Kyle told Ashley early in their relationship that he’d been diagnosed with a kidney disease when he was two-years-old and that one day he’d need a transplant. Neither expected that time to come so soon. They’d been dating about a year and a half before Kyle had to start dialysis and was put on a waiting list for a cadaver kidney. In the meantime, friends and family members got tested to see if they’d be a match.
You can guess what happened next.
“I think I told him the beginning that I would get tested, but you never actually think about doing something like that until you’re actually in the situation,” said Ashley, who turned out to be a match.
Kyle says Ashley never hesitated, so doctors at Lutheran Hospital began the process for a transplant. It’s a surgery they perform 30 to 40 times every year.
Both recovered quickly and two months after the operation, Kyle proposed. This summer they’ll make the leap from boyfriend & girlfriend to donor & recipient to husband & wife.
“I just think there is nothing more satisfying than being able to literally save someone’s life,” Ashley said. “You get to feel that joy for the rest of your life. That satisfaction.”
She believes it was meant to be. “What are the chances that he would just so happen to be working when I was sick and that’s how our relationship bloomed, and I was the one to donate the kidney to him?”
Kyle said he feels forever indebted to Ashley and they joke about their upcoming marriage, saying he’ll never be able to win an argument.
“I’m like, ‘Will you rub my feet? No? But I gave you a kidney,” laughs Ashley.
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