'It’s yours, take it': Ontario woman donates kidney to save life of best friend

WATCH ABOVE: "Friends for life" has taken on a powerful new meaning for two women in Ontario. Elaine Travers and Cathy Barker have known each other for decades, and consider themselves sisters. As Tom Hayes reports, when Barker found out she needed a new kidney, she didn't have to look far to find a perfect match.

A 57-year-old Oshawa woman is getting the best gift she could have hoped for – and it’s coming from her best friend.

Cathy Barker has been fighting kidney disease for over twenty years and has been in 90 per cent kidney failure since the summer of 2018. She was in need of a transplant and she did not have to look further than her best friend, who stepped up in Barker’s time of need.

“Without hesitation I said, ‘If you need my kidney it’s yours, take it,’“ 57-year-old Elaine Travers said.


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Travers said she wanted to be at the top of the donor list for her friend.

And she lucked out, because her kidney turned out to be a perfect match for Barker — beating the odds of one in 100,000. It can take up to eight to ten years to find a kidney while on a waiting list.

The two women met as four year olds in a Hamilton bowling alley and have been close ever since.

For Barker, the new kidney means a new lease on life, but for Travers, it’s a major operation with a possible downside.

“I won’t be able to do hockey or football .. or any of those contact sports,” she joked.

The operation is set for Tuesday at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

READ MORE: One woman’s kidney donation set off a chain of organ transplants. Then they all met

“She was brought into this world for a reason – to do this for me,” Barker said.

“And I’m not leaving,” Travers said in reply.

A GoFundMe page was launched to help the two friends with any costs endured. It has since raised over $9,000.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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