By writer to www.thedenverchannel.com
UPDATE | Monday — The kidney transplant surgical procedure went properly for each Rafael Díaz and Reid Alexander and they’re on observe to be discharged from the hospital this week.
It is simple to see that Rafael Díaz and Reid Alexander have been made for one another. Fortunately, so have been their kidneys.
“We matched in each sense,” Díaz mentioned, laughing.
Their Tinder match in 2020 bloomed right into a loving relationship, a wedding, and an surprising kidney match for Alexander, who was recognized with Alport Syndrome — which causes harm to tiny blood vessels within the kidneys — when he was 17 years outdated.
The love story behind a Denver man giving a kidney to his new husband
On Friday, the 2 Denver males will endure surgical procedure so Díaz, who was examined and confirmed as an ideal kidney donor for his husband, can provide him the present of a greater life.
“I made a decision to do it as a result of I like him,” the 28-year-old mentioned, together with his husband’s arm wrapped round his. “And likewise as a result of I believe that that is superb — this shared life. It’s superb to do that — give another person the chance to reside. I do not know. (I’m getting) emotional on this second. However I like this man. And I really need him to have a protracted life with me.”
HOW TO HELP: Visit Rafael Díaz and Reid Alexander‘s GoFundMe
Docs found Alexander’s kidneys have been beginning to fail as a result of Alport Syndrome in the summertime earlier than his junior 12 months in highschool. He defined that the illness means the Collagen Kind V in his kidneys is being attacked and scarred so the organ begins to fail. It impacts his listening to, too, since that sort of collagen can be current in ears and eyes.
Presently, there’s no treatment for it.
“I put on listening to aids now and all the pieces,” Alexander mentioned. “I really feel like I am an 85-year-old particular person in a 24-year-old physique. However that’s simply my regular.”
He was nearly to graduate from Indiana College in Bloomington in 2020 and transfer to Colorado when his medical doctors informed him his kidney perform had dropped to 20%, which meant he may formally add his identify to the transplant checklist. Two months afterward, in July, medical doctors informed him to start out excited about dialysis within the close to future.
With this heavy on his thoughts, he traveled to Colorado to assist his roommate transfer to Denver, with plans to affix him every week later.
Whereas in Colorado, he matched with Díaz on Tinder and the 2 began speaking on the app. As soon as Alexander had formally moved to town, they determined to fulfill in particular person on Aug. 23, 2020, at a neighborhood park.
“After which actually from then (on), we have been collectively virtually day by day,” Alexander mentioned.
Díaz, who moved to Colorado from Mexico about two and a half years in the past, mentioned he knew there was a spark when Alexander understood his Spanish. He was about to move again to Mexico when the 2 met and determined to remain in Denver.
“We’ve got quite a lot of issues in widespread and we make one another snort on a regular basis,” he mentioned. “We all the time spend quite a lot of time within the kitchen or watching films. We’ve got this, I do not know, this connection that’s loopy.”
“It is so cringey, however I will be pondering of one thing, and he’ll say it or vice versa,” Alexander added. “And I am like, ‘Oh, that is so gross.’ I additionally adore it.”
They married in April at a Littleton park after which drove as much as Estes Park to have fun afterward. As soon as they arrived, Alexander obtained a name from Indiana College Well being saying they’d a kidney out there. Nonetheless, it wanted to be transplanted straight away and the couple couldn’t cowl the space in time to make it.
Alexander had began dialysis at this level — his first go to was in February 2021 — and there hadn’t been any luck with the transplant checklist.
“It’s totally traumatic, as a result of it is actually only a ready recreation,” he mentioned.
Díaz mentioned it was tough to see Alexander in dialysis, which lasted 5 hours a day, 3 times every week. After every session, Alexander was usually drained and dizzy.
Despite the fact that their possibilities have been slim, Díaz mentioned he wished to examine to see if he may develop into a donor for his husband.
“He informed me he wished to, and I used to be like, ‘That is superb, that is so superior that you simply wish to,’” Alexander mentioned. “However at the back of my head the entire time, I used to be like, ‘He isn’t going to be a match. It isn’t going to work out.’”
However the assessments returned with the absolute best end result: Díaz was an ideal match for Alexander.
The subsequent few weeks have been a whirlwind. Colorado hospitals have been unable to do the surgical procedure and the preliminary euphoria began to put on skinny.
“I used to be very annoyed and upset,” Alexander mentioned.
Then their luck re-emerged.
Whereas stopping by the financial institution, Alexander obtained an e-mail. IU Well being mentioned they may carry out the surgical procedures.
“It was very emotional for each of us as we’re at a financial institution teller,” Alexander mentioned, taking a look at Díaz. “However it hasn’t actually gotten actual till this previous week. And it is like, ‘Oh, my gosh, we’re having surgical procedure. And I am getting your kidney. Oh, wow. It is getting actual.’”
It is going to carry their relationship to a brand new stage, Díaz mentioned.
“We have solely been collectively a 12 months, however it seems like I’ve recognized him all my life and he is recognized me all his life,” Alexander mentioned. “And it is simply bizarre — now we have such a great bond. It will positively strengthen our bond and love.”
The couple mentioned they’re wanting ahead to the times again in Colorado, tenting and mountain climbing across the state. They’re additionally desperate to plan a marriage celebration within the subsequent couple years since they have been married amid COVID-19 earlier this 12 months.
Alexander mentioned his insurance coverage covers the surgical procedure, however in restoration, neither will be capable of work for the next two to a few months. Additionally they can’t fly or drive for six to eight weeks, so they’re staying in Indiana till they get the go-ahead to return dwelling to Colorado. As soon as they’ll come again, they’ll want light-work jobs to keep away from placing stress on the incision areas, Alexander defined, including that he’s concerned about working as a dialysis technician after spending a lot time on the receiving finish of the job.
To assist with bills for hire and payments over the subsequent few months, they created a GoFundMe.
As of Thursday afternoon, greater than 50 folks had donated — buddies, household, and strangers alike.
“It is tough to succeed in everybody as a result of not everyone seems to be buddies of ours, is from my household or from his household,” Díaz mentioned of the donors. “So, we simply wish to say thanks. Thanks to the superb those who made this occur.”