UNSUNG HERO: Murphysboro man donates kidney to co-worker - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

UNSUNG HERO: Murphysboro man donates kidney to co-worker

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WSIL -- In this week's Unsung Hero, two Murphysboro men will be connected for life after one gives the other his kidney.

Jarod Starrick and Tim Lee have been working together for the city of Murphysboro in the Public Works Department for two years, but their friendship goes back about a decade. And soon the two will be connected for life.

"I'm getting ready to donate life to share life with a friend," explained Jarod. 

In October 2015, Tim went for a routine check-up. The next day, he was told to go to the emergency room for tests, where he was later diagnosed with kidney failure.

"I realized that it wasn't going to get better, that this was a reality and I was going to have to deal with this," said Tim. 

Tim's treatments were about four hours long, three days a week and he was in desperate need of a kidney transplant. Finding a match was a struggle, almost robbing him of all hope.

"Had several friends try, family members try, but for one reason or another they couldn't donate," said Tim.     
    
At the beginning of this year, and unbeknownst to Tim, Jarod decided to get tested.

"I knew I was his blood type match and some said, you know, he (Tim) needs more people to try and I said, I don't have a problem with that."     

Several tests later, doctors told Jarod, he was a perfect match.

"This whole thing for me is a God thing for me. I'm a nervous person for general things and it's just been completely comfortable." 

Doctors told Tim they found a donor but didn't say who.

"I was snooping around trying to figure it out and then that's when I found out it was Jarod, that was in fact, who made the call and has been going through these tests and I really had no clue that he was doing it," said Tim. 

He said, there's no way to let Jarod know how truly grateful he is.

"This is what guys like him do. That's the true heroes of the world," said Tim. 

A GoFundMe account has been set up to offset costs for driving and the hotel stay for their families. 

Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens calls both men courageous and brave.

"It's just a beautiful story about people helping one another," added Mayor Stephens.  

Jarod calls it, "plain human decency" and adds if you can help, do it, but he wants God to get all the glory.

"You be the neighbor that you want neighbors to be to you," said Jarod. 

The surgery is scheduled for May 31 in Saint Louis.

Jarod said if all goes well, recovery will take about three months. In a nice surprise, other city workers from different departments are donating their sick time to make up for lost sick days.

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