In 2008, Mona Walker applied for a job in Cain Watters’ accounting department. Becky Woolever, Accounting’s senior manager, received her resume, but wasn’t quite ready to hire. Mona called. Becky wasn’t ready. Mona called again. Becky still wasn’t ready. In fact, she wasn’t 100% sure she was going to hire Mona at all. But Mona kept calling — until she landed the position. She started reporting to Becky in April 2009.
As they worked together, a comfortable friendship began to develop between the two women. Both were working moms with two adult children around the same age, a boy and a girl each. They’d talk shop, family and grab lunch together, much like any friends might do, which meant Becky was well aware of the medical challenges that plagued Mona and her children.
Genetics was behind Mona, her son Cameron, and her daughter Ashley having kidney disease. She’d had a transplant in her mid-thirties and both children had tested positive for it in their late teens. Cameron, the eldest of the two, began to show signs that it was progressing while a student in college. But it wasn’t until January 2012 that it was full-blown. By then he was a husband and father of three working deep nights as a patrol officer with the police department in Arlington, Texas.
The disease took its toll quickly and by June of that year he was on dialysis three times a week, which qualified him for the national registry for organ transplant waitlist. In the meantime, family members were being tested to see if they were a donor match.
Mona kept Becky updated, but she had no idea the boss who almost never hired her was contemplating getting tested to see if she was a match for Cameron.
Becky had never considered anything like it before. Sure, Mona was her employee, but they’d also become friends — really good friends. So she and her husband turned to their faith as they considered what a decision to give a kidney to a friend’s son would mean.
What it meant was that after four months of testing, the two families learned that Becky was an 80 percent match for Cameron — about as close as family member donors are to transplant recipients. It also meant that today, December 11, 2015, they would be celebrating the three-year anniversary of the day Becky and Cameron were prepped for surgery together, emerging four hours later with Becky having given one of her kidneys to save the life of the son of the woman who kept on calling about a job in her department just a few years earlier.
To this day, Cameron’s body has had zero issues accepting Becky’s kidney — extremely rare for organ recipients. And as fate would have it, within 30 days of the transplant, the other of his two original kidneys completely failed, but because of his brand new healthy one he was back with his family and patrolling deep nights in Arlington as soon as he recovered from his surgeries.
Mona likes to tell people that Cameron has two moms, “I gave him life the first time, she gave him life the second time.”
Either way, both women can safely credit faith and friendship for the gift of new life given to Officer Walker.
Enjoy the gift of life this Holiday Season.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to You and Yours
from Cain Watters and Associates.