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Woman receives gift of life after 13 OYS story helps find kidney donor

We first introduced you to Linda Griggs in June, looking for a kidney donor. Thankfully, Rachel Snyder was watching TV at the right moment.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Rachel Snyder and Linda Griggs began this summer as strangers. 

This fall, they will be sharing a pair of kidneys, bonded for a lifetime. 

Griggs was told she was "down to the wire," running out of time to find a kidney donor this summer. 13 ON YOUR SIDE interviewed Griggs for a story in June, about her unique advertising method to find a kidney. Working with an artist friend, she had a colorful, custom sign in her Grand Rapids yard asking for a donor. 

30 miles away in Holland, Rachel Snyder was watching. .

"She’s passing flyers out, cards, begging for her life," said Snyder, "I said to my husband, 'I'm going to go and see if I can help.' He looked at me like I was crazy, but I never looked back." 

Snyder began the testing process, quickly discovering she was a match. She reached out to Griggs.

"After all this time of trying so hard to have someone say, 'I'm trying and here’s what I'm trying to do,' made all the difference," said Griggs.

After months of testing to make sure she was healthy enough for the donation, Snyder was confirmed to be a donor. Their surgery is set for November 7.

Credit: 13 OYS
Rachel Snyder (left) will give her kidney to Linda Griggs (right) on November 7.

The two were complete strangers when Snyder decided to donate her kidney to Griggs. They met for the first time Wednesday. 

"She walks through the door," said Griggs, "And I said 'oh my god, she’s the amazing person I knew she was!'"

Griggs said she feels the beginning of a deep relationship. She feels as if she found a piece of her soul in Rachel... along with a kidney. 

"She also touched me because she has a history of breast cancer, a 30 year breast cancer survivor," said Snyder of Griggs, "My mother in law lost her battle in 2018. That just meant more to me. I couldn’t save her life, but I can try to save her life."

More than 100,000 Americans are in need of a kidney transplant, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Griggs said in addition to Snyder, more than 70 people stepped up to try and qualify after seeing the news coverage this summer. 

Credit: 13 OYS
Griggs is donating the sign to Felecia Williams of Battle Creek, as she searches for a live kidney donor. Griggs hopes it brings her the same attention and luck.

Now, the sign is being passed to another woman searching for a kidney transplant. Felecia Williams lives in battle creek, and has been on dialysis for years. Her family members have stepped up to test, but they were not a match for William's O-blood type. 

If you think you can help Felecia, she can be reached at (269)-317-2124.

To sign up for the National Kidney Registry as a potential donor, click this link.

RELATED VIDEO: Yard sign raising awareness for a kidney donation stolen

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