She Found Out She Had Cancer. Then, a 'God Moment'

Nurse Iris Zink donated her kidney to longtime patient and friend Ginny Holcomb
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2018 7:56 AM CDT
A longtime friendship led to the ultimate gift: a kidney.   (Getty Images/dragana991)

(Newser) – Everyone hopes for a caring and compassionate nurse when they're ailing, but one Michigan woman's caretaker went "above and beyond the call of duty," per Becker's Hospital Review. For more than 15 years, nurse practitioner Iris Zink has treated Ginny Holcomb at Lansing Rheumatology, and the two have become close friends. Then Holcomb found out she had kidney cancer, and Zink "didn't think twice" about what she had to do, per FOX 47 News. She decided to donate one of her own kidneys to her longtime friend. "There was just no hesitation," Zink says. "I didn't want to see her die. I couldn't watch it."

The women went through a battery of tests that took a year to complete, and Zink found out she was a perfect match. Holcomb initially balked at taking Zink's kidney, but she finally acquiesced. "I just started crying," Holcomb says of that phone call from Zink. "It was, I think, a God moment." The pair underwent surgery in July to complete the transplant; Zink is already completely recovered, while Holcomb is still recuperating. In the meantime, they sport matching kidney-shaped necklaces to commemorate their shared experience, and organ. "It's a beautiful thing to have someone else's body part in you," Holcomb says. (A kidney transplant patient in Indiana married his donor.)

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