EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — An East Grand Rapids woman is getting her happy ending after a months-long quest to find a new kidney.
Linda Griggs was born with a rare condition, which has deteriorated her kidneys over the years. While she had hoped someone from her family and close friends would have been a match, her type O blood makes the process more difficult.
We first introduced you to Griggs back in July when she and her friends erected a colorful, five-foot-wide yard sign in front of her home. Since News 8 first aired her story, an additional 120 people registered on Griggs’ kidney registry page. Seventy of those went on to apply to Trinity Health St. Mary’s and on Wednesday, Griggs met her match: Rachel Snyder.
Snyder is from the Holland area. She said she learned of Griggs’ unique marketing strategy from the news. She immediately turned to her husband and said, “’This woman is begging for her life … let’s see if I’m a match,’ and I just started.”
While Griggs waited to see if Snyder’s blood type and kidneys were compatible to what she needed, the two became pen pals over email. In Snyder’s first email to Griggs she wrote, “I’m so nervous about doing this screening, but what if I’m a match?”
It was emails from Snyder and a couple of other potential matches that kept Griggs going.
“Every morning on my walk I’d go to the lake and say, Rachel’s in there. These other four people are in there. They’re doing it. You can relax. It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen,” recalled Griggs.
The two surgeries are scheduled for Nov. 7. The two women even requested to be on the same floor post-operation so that they can support one another on their roads to recovery.
“She’s got the hard part,” Snyder said. “They’re just going to take it from me and then the real magic happens.”
As for the sign, it’s now on its way to Battle Creek. Felecia Williams, who has been on dialysis for the past three years, hopes the sign will bring her the same luck as it did Griggs.
“It worked for me, why can’t it work for somebody else?” Griggs said.