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Wife donates kidney after husband gets cancer

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Frederic and Valentina first met in Venezuela.

“I was dating a Venezuelan girl who happened to be a friend of hers. My girlfriend at the time said ‘Hey, I have some friends coming to the party and one of them, it’s their birthday.’ It was her birthday, so we met on her birthday.”

He thought I was this quiet girl,” Valentina said.

Now married for nine years, the couple has two beautiful children. The wonderful life ahead of them then came into question. Frederic was diagnosed with a virus that attacked his kidneys. He lived with it for about 20 years before doctors told him something needed to be done.

“I started having some issues. I went to the doctor and found out one of my kidney’s had cancer,” he said.

Doctors suggested Frederic have a kidney donation and so the process began. It’s a process thousands across the country are facing.

“The search obviously began with my immediate family, my parents, my brother, and my sister. As they eliminated people for specific reasons, whether medical or not compatible, the next person was my wife, Valentina,” he said.

Luckily for Frederic, his perfect match in life was also the perfect match to give him life.

“You don’t know how much you want to do something like that until you are in a situation to do it, so it was pretty cool,” she said.

The donation was done by IU Health. Frederic and Valentina credit the hospital and staff for making the process seamless.

“We found out that IU here is one of the largest centers that does that type of stuff so we reached out. We had some friends who happened to know someone who recommended a doctor here. We set up an appointment and talked to them and they really set us at ease as to what we needed to do,” he said.

Frederic says Valentina doesn’t hold her sacrifice over his head, but lets just say he makes sure he doesn’t forget to take the trash out.

“Those things still happen. I still get my daily dose of ‘Honey do’ lists,” he said.

“We don’t talk about it. We don’t think about it,” Valentina said.

“She doesn’t hold it over my head, no, but she does still say, ‘Hey you forgot to take the garbage, you forgot to do this.’”

This Valentine’s Day, maybe they’ll be celebrating with a kidney shaped box of candy instead of heart shaped.