A Local Man Getting A New Lease On Life After An Organ Donation From A Stranger

CORNELIUS, NC. — Steve Sanders and Chris Perez share so many similarities. They are both fathers, live in Mecklenburg County, have sons named Nolan, and studied criminal justice in college.

“I mean, we’ve got a very similar sense of humor; there’s a lot of similar things that we like. I mean, it was a hit from right away,” Sanders says.

Now, they share a special bond. Doctors diagnosed Sanders with a rare genetic kidney disorder about seven years ago. The condition shuts down kidneys over time. Desperate to find a donor, he began posting his story in local Facebook groups in July.

“I said please share. If you can’t do anything else, please share the story.”

The post got shared over and over. Perez’s wife saw it and showed it to him.

“Here was the story of a dad just like me who just wanted to get that gift of a healthier life to get a chance to spend more time with his kids and see his kids grow up, and that was like literally the only thing I could think of like if it was me I’d one more time with my family,” says Perez.

After some reflection and research, Perez filled out the paperwork, did the bloodwork, took all the necessary tests, and he was a perfect match for Sanders. On January 12th, they had the surgery, and Sanders received a new kidney.

“One thing that we try to teach our kids all the time is this idea of being kind to other people, and that’s like the longest-lasting impact you can have in this world is to do something nice for someone else in the hopes that they pass that on.”

You can find donation information here.