See the moment a Bangor boy meets the Brewer woman donating her kidney to him
We have an incredible update to a story we shared with you last winter.
We told you about a little boy in Bangor in dire need of a kidney donation.
The community heard the call and stepped up.
We were there as Bentley and his hero, Kristyn, met for the very first time.
"We're going to meet someone very special today. We're going to meet a girl named Kristyn, and she's going to make your belly feel all better soon, okay," Heather asked Bentley just minutes from meeting his future organ donor.
This is a day Heather Kinsella says she never dreamed would be a reality for her six-year-old son, Bentley. They're meeting his kidney donor. This will be his second kidney transplant. In February, we shared their story when Heather was desperate to find a donor.
"Bentley was born in end-stage renal failure when he was born. We found out within the first 12 hours of birth that he had two non-functioning kidneys," Heather shared when we first met her.
Heather reached out when his first donated kidney from his aunt started failing, something they knew could happen. We shared their story which led to more than 120 people applying to donate their kidneys. A couple of weeks ago, Heather learned they found a match.
"I got a call from the transplant center in Portland, and she said, 'we have one.' And I said, 'you have one?' And she said, 'we have a donor,' and I just went, 'what?'
37-year-old Kristyn Nordfors, a rural mail carrier from Brewer, saw the story after her niece shared it on Facebook.
"I said, 'hey, I've got two, I only need one, so sure, I'll look into it,' and I never dreamed that I'd be a match, and throughout all the testing, it turns out I actually have fantastic kidneys, so I'm just happy to be healthy enough to do it," said Kristyn.
"I've cried all week. It's a lot for somebody to do this for someone they don't even know," said Heather.
"My heart is so full. I couldn't be more proud as a mom. At first, I thought, oh, it's major surgery and it's my daughter but she reminded me, 'you would want somebody to do it for me.' And she's right. She's right. She's always been a very generous and compassionate woman, so I'm not surprised, but I'm extremely proud," said Janet Nordsfor, Kristyn's mom.
In just a few weeks, they'll head to Portland where the surgery will take place. Heather says from this moment on, they're family.
"It's really easy, the whole testing process and I would encounter anyone to look into it. Kidneyregistry.org is a great resource. There are thousands of people waiting for kidneys and it's really a rewarding thing. I have a friend that donated and she spoke highly of it so that kind of made me more comfortable with looking into it so if I can share my story and get other people interested in becoming living donors, it's the gift that keeps on giving," said Kristyn.
Because of Bentley, another person who needs a kidney is getting one. A woman who also tested to be his donor is donating to someone else in Bentley's name, so in the future, if Bentley needs another kidney, he'll go to the top of the donor list.
"So, I have people donating kidneys just so that my son in the future can possibly have one," said Heather.
Kristyn says all of her travel expenses are paid for by the National Living Donor Assistance Center.
You can find out more about the story and how to donate to his GoFundMe on Bentley's Page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BentleysPage/