Tired of watching a dialysis machine keep his sister alive, Jeremy Bell decided to lose 100 pounds so he could save her.
Crystal Bell’s kidneys were destroyed by a congenital condition and her body rejected a kidney donated by her cousin 10 years ago, Bay News 9 reports. The Georgia woman badly needs a transplant, so her brother decided to get himself into tip-top shape and donate his own kidney.
"Would you push them out of the way if a car was coming?" Jeremy Bell asked Bay News 9, referring to saving a family member. "Would you protect them if someone was breaking into your house? I have a spare kidney. How could I not give it to her?"
As a general parameter, kidney donors should be in good health. Donors who are overweight or obese are more likely to experience long-term kidney damage themselves after the operation, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
Blood relatives typically make the best donor candidates, something Elissa Stein kept in the back of her mind as her own brother's condition took a turn for the worse. Stein’s brother had struggled with a host of debilitating medical conditions throughout his life, and when his kidneys gave out, she decided to step in.
“I've always known, on some level, that should he need one, one of mine is his,” Stein wrote in a blog for The Huffington Post. “I am grateful for all that my life is,” she wrote, "and I'm even more grateful that I can give something back.”
As Bell gears up to take on the same heroic role, he’s also working to raise $10,000 for his sister’s procedure, a feat he’s confident he will achieve.
"I just decided I needed to do it and started," he told Bay News 9. "You know, she's my sister."
Feeling inspired? Learn how you can contribute to Crystal Bell's fight for life here.
Click through the slideshow below to read more inspiring stories of donors who gave the ultimate gift: