Indian River High School grad donates kidney to fellow alumnus

Posted at 5:11 PM, Dec 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-13 06:12:53-05

Chesapeake, Va. - It's the ultimate Christmas present. The gift of a kidney.

"It feels like the right thing to do. I really have just this overwhelming sense of peace about it. I just feel good about it," Nikki Lyle Ward told NewsChannel 3.

Nikki is donating hers to Tory Kemp, a man she hasn't seen in 27 years.  The two went to Indian River High School together and barely knew one another.

IMG_3023"I think this is the best present ever. I really do. You can`t get any better than this. This is giving me my freedom back," Tory says.

He was diagnosed with Alport Syndrome, a disease that attacks a person's kidney tissue.

His father previously donated his kidney for his son. Now, Tory is getting one from Nikki.

"It would just give me so much freedom back. It`s the best present ever," he said.

Months ago, a mutual friend of theirs posted on Facebook that Tory needed a kidney, and Nikki saw.

At first she thought he just need a blood donation.

"[I was like,]I`ll donate blood! And he`s like, 'that`s so nice, but we really need a kidney.' And I went, 'Oh, OK. Let me get back to you!"

So, she did her research and talked to someone else who had donated.

Then she says, the decision was easy.

"It`s a speed bump in my life compared to what Tory`s going through. Once we`re both recovered, and the pain is gone, it`s going to be a speed bump. Then we`re both able to live healthy lives after this. Somebody put on Facebook Hashtag 'Team Tory' and 'Indian River Strong.' I think that just sums it up," she told NewsChannel 3.

Now, after December 29th, the two will have a connection far past Indian River High School.

A connection that saved Tory's life.

"She`s my hero. She`s my angel. She`s saving my life."

The "Tory Kemp Christmas Benefit"

When: December 14 at 1-8pm

Where: Jerry's of Chesapeake, 1104 Sparrow Road, Chesapeake VA 23325