Jacksonville newlyweds Savannah and Cameron Mullis are a match in more ways than one: The couple were a match for organ donation.
After Cameron popped the question, planning for their big day was put on hold when he was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy.
“(The doctor) told me I had a little less than 20 percent of total function of all my kidneys,” Cameron said.
Cameron was in need of a kidney transplant.
The couple didn’t want to put their life on hold, so they were married last June.
Savannah was tested to see if she was a match.
“It wouldn't be hard to find a donor to do all of that, if it was me,” Savannah said.
The couple learned that Savannah was a match for Cameron. She has worked at Mayo Clinic's Transplant Center as a scheduler for three years and didn’t imagine that she would one day be a patient.
The two underwent successful surgeries in September.
Dr. Martin Mai said the couple’s story is a reminder of the importance of living donors, without whom people like Cameron might wait years to find a match.
“It ranges two to five years here in Florida," Dr. Mai said. “It can be as long as 10, 12 years in other parts of the country.”
Someone is added to an organ donor list every 10 minutes, while 21 people die every day waiting for an organ, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
“I don't even know how to describe that feeling you have when you know you're going to be able to help someone you love,” Savannah said. “We had love before, but this is a bond that's hard to describe."
Visit the Mayo Clinic’s website to learn how to become a living organ donor.