Fort Drum woman donates kidney to stranger

wwny Fort Drum woman donates kidney to stranger

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWNY) - Tanae Triplett lives on Fort Drum with her children and her husband, Mathew Sands, a soldier with the 2-15 Field Artillery.

Last summer, Triplett’s mom mentioned a high school friend of hers needed a kidney after having kidney failure stemming from 10 years of an undiagnosed autoimmune disease due to high blood pressure.

“And I was like, I’ll do it. And she was like, what? (And I said) well, why not? I’ve got 2. I don’t need them both,” said Tanae.

Tanae's mom told her friend, Michelle Borrego, a registered nurse in Texas, her daughter was willing to try.

“I think I had about 12 people try to be a match but I have a lot of antibodies and I was told I have a 10 percent chance of finding a match so I basically rejected 90 percent of the population," said Michelle.

And then Tanae found out she was a match.

“I truthfully didn’t think she'd be a match because no one was a match, and when she called me and told me she was a match, I was floored," said Michelle.

Tanae was pregnant at the time, so she had to wait 6 months after giving birth to go ahead with the surgery. On July 2 of this year, it was time for the operation.

"I was in elementary school with her mom. To think that, who would have thought that wow, your daughter that you're going to have in the future is going to give me a kidney and save my life," said Michelle.

"She can live and that's all that matters," said Tanae.

To raise money and awareness, Tanae has organized a kidney walk which will be held in Watertown's Thompson Park this Sunday at 11 a.m.

“I’m going to cry, but thank God I was born healthy. If all it takes is $5 donation to the National Kidney Foundation do it," said Tanae.

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