• Husband is a perfect match in more than one way; saves wife's life with his kidney

    By: Beth Rousseau , Action News Jax


    Davie and Cheri Michaels’ meeting online turned out to be a life-saving match.

    “I was born with one kidney, and I knew throughout my life I would need transplants,” Cheri said Thursday.

    Action News Jax Reporter Beth Rousseau first sat down with the couple in March.

    David was preparing to give his wife one of his kidneys.

    The couple’s match wouldn’t have happened without Cheri’s first two donors.

    Cheri’s mother, Carole Mandel, didn’t think twice about sacrificing one of her kidneys when her daughter’s failed.


    Mandel explained, “There is nothing in the world as great as giving a life. There’s no feeling that you can equate with that.”

    Eight years later, help came from outside the family.

    Cheri’s second donor was a friend she knew from her daughter’s school.

    Debbie Castroverde said, “I looked at her like, ‘my God she could be me,’ and I wanted to be around to raise my daughter, and I’m sure she wanted to be around to raise her daughter.”

    The second kidney lasted just long enough for Cheri to meet and marry David.

    Despite ugly odds, he ended up being a perfect match.

    Pictures show just a glimpse at the couple's surgeries and recoveries.

    “Those fears and those risks just fall away,” David described.

    The four are helping the 113,000 people on the national transplant waiting list.

    The group is determined to educate others about live organ donation.

    “By having living donors, Cheri is not taking away from someone who is already on the list,” Castroverde said.

    Cheri shared, “People don’t have to die waiting for an organ.”

    April is National Donate Life Month.

    According to OrganDonor.gov, 20 people die every day waiting for a transplant, and every 10 minutes another name is added to the waitlist.

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