INDIANAPOLIS — A Denver couple with Indiana ties is forever connected, and it's not just by love, but by life. The gift they exchanged is one that so many people need, a kidney.
Reid Alexander’s and Rafael Diaz’s love story is a bit of whirlwind. The two met by swiping right on Tinder last summer. Months later, they got engaged and then married in April.
At 17, Alexander was diagnosed with Alport Syndrome after he came home from work at a Texas Roadhouse in Kokomo with extremely swollen legs. It's a hereditary condition that usually leads to kidney disease or failure. It can also lead to hearing loss, which is something Alexander dealt with growing up.
Things progressed slowly, until Alexander’s senior year of college at Indiana University in Bloomington. Doctors told him his kidney function was only at 20% and he needed a kidney.
While living in Denver this past February, the 24-year-old started dialysis. His then fiancé, Diaz, 28, stepped up to help. Diaz got tested and was told he was a perfect match.
Finding a donor and then getting someone to do the surgery was nothing short of a roller coaster ride. After the couple was told Colorado hospitals were unable to do the transplant, IU Health stepped in. They underwent kidney transplant surgery on August 13 at University Hospital in Indianapolis.
"You are my husband. You will be my husband, and I want you in my life so I can help you. And if I can help you, I will do it. And it's something I want to do again, if I can," Diaz said.
It's unclear exactly how long the couple will stay in the Kokomo area for recovery before heading back home to Denver. However, they said they are looking forward to planning a wedding celebration and going back to doing things they love like hiking, camping and traveling.
If you're interested in helping the couple cover expenses during their recovery, click on the link here.