PASADENA, Texas – Two years ago, Alicia Stockton took matters into her own hands after her husband was diagnosed with renal failure.
She used her Ford Expedition as a billboard and wrote, “Kidney needed!” on the back window in white marker.
Two years later, they received an answer.
“It was just something I thought of ... it was my last hopes for helping my husband,” Stockton explained when asked about the message.
She said she wasn't able to donate her kidney to her husband, Steven, and neither could other family members because of health reasons.
Steven has been on dialysis for about four years and in 2017 had both of his legs amputated.
"He's just been through a lot, he's really a strong person and this is something he really needs,” Stockton said.
She said people responded to her plea on the back of her SUV, but learned not to get her hopes up.
“It’s been on and off,” Stockton said about the response of the sign. “When we first put it on, it spread all on Twitter and we got a lot of calls; people wanted to help, but the donor process is really difficult. You can’t have anything wrong with you.”
Stockton said everything changed last month while she and her husband went to a Chinese restaurant.
Meant to be
While the Stocktons were ordering food at Oriental Wok in Pasadena, Melinda Cavazos was the one who took their order.
“That day, I saw the truck they were in at the drive-thru,” Cavazos said. “I asked her, 'Your husband needs a kidney?' She goes, ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I’ll do it!'” Cavazos said.
“She kind of poked her head out the window and said, 'Your husband needs a kidney?' I said, 'Yeah,' she said,'I’ll give you mine,'” Stockton said.
Cavazos has done the majority of testing with UTMB in order to transfer her kidney to Steven and she’s a perfect match.
"I've got two teenagers who are still in high school and I want to be there for them as long as I can and this just means that I have a whole new lease on life and it gives me more enthusiasm for life,” Steven Stockton said.
“We're not taking it with us. We can live on one kidney and me knowing that I can prolong Steven's life for him to watch his kids grow" makes the donation worthwhile, Cavazos said.
The family has a GoFundMe page if you are interested in helping them out with medical costs.