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Giving the Gift of Life: UPSer Donates Kidney to Help a Stranger
Candy Campbell

As a data specialist for UPS’s Industrial Engineering International Operations Support group, Candy Campbell finds fulfillment in helping her co-workers solve problems with international shipments. “I work on reports first thing in the morning that I send to the district coordinators,” she said. “The coordinators have to research the shipment and figure out what the issue is and how to fix it.” 

Before moving to the International Support Group in 2009, Candy worked as a technician with the Hub and Feeder Control System, where she met a co-worker, Ernest Green, who caused her to want to help in a different kind of way.  “I worked with Ernest and thought he was a great person,” Candy said. “He was always happy, helpful, upbeat and enjoyable to be around. My heart went out to him when I found out that he was fighting for his life.”

Ernest was on the waiting list to receive a kidney transplant. Even when she was no longer working in the same department as Ernest, she continued to check on him and felt a calling to try to help in some way.

“I always thought you could only donate an organ to a family member,” she said. However, at a UPS Health Fair in 2010, representatives from the Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates sponsored a booth and she decided to ask if she could donate a kidney to someone that she was not related to. Candy was thinking about Ernest while she was talking to the KODA representative.

“I hadn’t talked to Ernest to tell him what I was thinking about doing, but he was my inspiration and I wanted to try to help in some way. “In November 2010, I talked to Beth Tingle, a representative from Jewish Hospital’s Living Donor program and told her I was interested in giving a kidney to a friend who was on the transplant list. I went through physical and psychological tests to make sure I was healthy enough, but it was determined I was not a match for Ernest,” Candy said. “I still felt that God was leading me to do something to help someone else. I was approved in February 2011 to donate a kidney. After my second conversation with Tingle I had this overwhelming sense of peace that I was doing the right thing.”

Candy decided to wait a few months before she moved forward because Ernest had received a kidney from another donor in March. She wanted to see how he was and how that went before she made a final decision. “Once I knew he was doing okay, I had to decide when to have surgery and I thought December would be great because it would be a wonderful Christmas gift. The hospital couldn’t work it out to happen after Christmas, so it was scheduled to take place before the holiday.”

On Dec. 20, 2011, Candy donated her kidney to a stranger — James Baines. She met him the day after the surgery and said he is a wonderful person and is glad she was able to help him. “I am healthy and can have a good life with one kidney,” she said. “I encourage others to consider organ donation. The surgery was not bad and I was never in the pain I thought I would be. It all went very smoothly.”

According to UNOS.org, a total of 112,859 people are on the national list waiting for an organ. A new name is added to donor waiting lists every 14 minutes and approximately 18 people die each day waiting for an organ donation. For more information about kidney or organ donation, visit donatelife.net or trustforlife.org.

Category: Caring for Communities
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    Comments [5]

  1. Candy,
    Two thumbs way………up for your gift. That’s a fairly high bar you set.

  2. We are so proud of you for donating a kidney to help save a life of someone you don’t even know. It must have taken a lot of courage. It’s allways good seeing you at the Second Chance meetings. Big hugs from us both.

  3. Good for you , Candy,you did a wonderful thing. My son, Joe works for UPS in West chester, Pa. He has been a driver for over 25 years there. he started back when UPS moved there . Keep up thr good work.

  4. Hey “Lifesaver…” Did you think I’d let this go by without getting my thanks in?

  5. Wow, Such a sweet story, God does have Angels here on Earth, Thank-you for being such a inspiration to all of your co-workers!

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