WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Our Kidney Adventure

Mar 3, 2014

When Mary Eby learned her friend Amy Stein needed a new kidney, she didn’t hesitate to offer one of hers, saying, “I have two kidneys.”

Thus began what Eby called “Our kidney adventure.”

Amy Stein (left) and Mary Eby
Credit courtesy of Terry Smith

Eby, who now lives in Macomb, and Stein, who lives in New Orleans, recently recorded their tale for the StoryCorps program in Chicago.

The two have known each other since the mid-1970s when they worked at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.  They became good friends and their families vacationed together.

They remained friends even after Eby’s family moved several times over the years, but eventually they lost touch after 2000.

They reconnected in 2008 when Eby came to New Orleans to visit another friend. She knew Stein’s mother had polycystic kidney disease, which meant there was a good chance Stein suffered from it too.  Eby inquired about Stein’s health and offered to donate a kidney when she learned her friend was not doing well.

They proved to be a match and the donated kidney began functioning almost immediately in Stein’s body.  Today she is in good health.

“Not only do I have your kidney inside me but you are inside my heart,” said Stein to Eby during the recording.  Stein said she thinks of Eby every day.