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A Special Gift Between Friends

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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — From sleepovers to graduations, even weddings, best friends stand by each other, especially when tough times.

That would hold true for two Springfield women about to embark on a scary and selfless journey.

Kari Isham and Marcy Toy could reminisce for hours about the good times they’ve had together. The two met on the basketball court in sixth grade and became fast friends.

“We have been in each others weddings. We have traveled together celebrated our 40th birthdays together,” Isham said.

And like most best friends, when times get tough, the bond gets even stronger. Marcy suffers from Berger’s Disease. It’s a kidney disease, and for Marcy it means she needs a new kidney.

“If I didn’t have a transplant, I would be like so many other people that are dealing with dialysis. And obviously that lasts for time, but it is not necessarily a quality way of life,” Toy said.

As soon as Isham heard the news, she tested to see if she could help. It’s usually blood relatives who make the match, so when Isham got the call, she had the kidney Toy needed–the miracle began to take shape.

“I burst into tears and called Marcy, and we cried for awhile on the phone,” Isham said.

“It’s just been a miracle. It really has,” Toy said.

The two friends are now preparing for the transplant, which is less than two weeks out.

“There are a few people in my life that I would be willing to do this, and Marcy is definitely one of those people,” Isham said.

“Its lifechanging. I have a whole new respect for her. I love her dearly, and I know she would do anything for me, and it is just an incredible gift,” Toy said.

But before the big day, the giving continues. Another friend is holding a benefit for the ladies Thursday, June 5 at the Springfield Adult Activity Center at 7 p.m. located at 215 West C Street in Springfield. They also have a GoFundMe campaign online.

The hope is to raise money for future costs and raise awareness about kidney transplants.

“When I went through my two-day evaluation at OHSU, I was told there was 350 some people ahead of me on the waiting list for a kidney, so the need is great,” Toy said.

The ladies will be in the hospital for three to five days and then go through about a month of recovery.

“It’s an extended life, and it’s the best gift ever,” Toy said.

A special bond built back in the day is now proving to be one of their best decisions, showing us all what being a friend can mean.

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