Woman sees Facebook plea for help, donates kidney to a stranger

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Just five days ago, Lorie Tremaine became a part of Jim Lineberger. Two people who've lived their whole lives not knowing each other came together over a Facebook post about a kidney.

Back in April, Tremaine saw a post shared by a friend. It was a page simply titled, "Help Jim." She clicked on it, not knowing the plea for help inside of it would change her life.

"I didn't think it was that big of a deal," Tremaine said.

What she read was a story of a man who'd lived his life with a debilitating illness. Polycystic Kidney disease had taken its toll on Lineberger. His father died at 51 from the disease, his grandfather at 43. He was in desperate need of a new kidney to spare his life.

Tremaine had one she was looking to give away.

"I didn't know anyone else that needed it. And I saw on Facebook we were the same blood type. It was already something I had in my mind that I could do," Tremaine said.

She already knew what the process was like because her husband had donated one of his kidneys to an aunt just three years ago.

Tremaine went through testing. She was a match. For months she did exactly as her doctors ordered to prepare her kidney to give to a man she hadn't met.

"The first time we met was the Sunday before the surgery," Lineberger said with tears in his eyes.

It's hard for the 48-year-old father of two to talk about it without tears.

The two went into surgery and she gave him her kidney. The process has changed both their lives.

"She saved my life. I mean I was going downhill quick. She's my hero," Lineberger said.

Lineberger's doctors believe his new kidney will last another 20 years. He says he'll spend every one of those years trying to find a way to repay the woman that saved his life.

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