Strangers Turned Friends: A Local Woman Donates Her Kidney To A Neighbor She Never Met

FORT MILL, SC. — Think about the millions of people on social media. Most of them are strangers. What are the odds one of those strangers could save your life? And end up living close by?

That’s where Nivea Griffin’s story begins: on Facebook.

She posted about her struggle with a genetic kidney disease. Something only her family and close friends knew, but none of them were a match to be her donor.

“My husband helped me to write a letter. I remember it was September 19, 2019. I remember the exact date. That’s the day that my life changed,” says Griffin.

Erin Godlewski lives in the same Fort Mill neighborhood as Griffin. The women go to the same gym, and their kids the same school. But they never met. A few days later, Godlewski saw Griffin’s plea on Facebook.

“I remember standing in my kitchen and I said to my husband, what do you think about donating an organ? He’s like, well you’re an organ donor and I’m like no, no I mean there’s a girl in our development. We go to the same gym, and she’s looking for a kidney and I can’t seem to get it off my mind. Like I just couldn’t, I just kept going back to it,” says Godlewski.

Godlewski messaged Griffin.

“I know I’m a complete stranger, but something told me to ask you. She was like can I call you?”

Godlewski got tested and found out she was a match to donate a kidney to Griffin.

“Every time I’d tell somebody they’re like, will you looked everywhere, I was looking for people in Brazil. And she’s right next to you,” Griffin says.

The women are having surgery in the last week of January.

“Just having this gift from her it’s absolutely amazing. I know I can’t give her anything like moneywise and stuff like that. So the only thing I have to say is thank you.”