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Bright Spot: Man donates his kidney to best friend

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — "I'm ready to just enjoy the season."

Renata Vasser's home is filled with holiday cheer and this year it's about more than the holiday decor that fills her home.

"I feel like a brand new person," she told WREG. "I have energy. I'm happy. I'm excited about life my future. I feel like nothing can stop me."

A year ago, Vasser's life was turned upside down after a devastating diagnosis.

"On November 30th of 2016, I went to the hospital and they told me you're going to be on dialysis."

Determined not to let her failing health get the best of her, she was placed on the transplant list and resigned to praying and waiting. Thanks to her best friend Jerrion Young, Vasser's prayers were answered.

"Jerrion is very thoughtful of other people," she said.  "If he can help you out he's going to help you out, and he's always been that way."

The two have been friends since middle school and Young decided he wanted to give Vasser a kidney.

"I've seen all the ups and downs with her health and it kinda took a toll on me, and I kinda wanted my regular friend back," he said.

"I was very happy about that but at the same time I was scared because the idea of someone giving you a kidney is very surreal."

Once the decision was made, Young, who now lives in Orlando, Florida, started the process.

"I did a lot of prayer. I talked to my family about it and God led me to go ahead and decide to do the transplant and thank God I was match."

And he didn't want to waste any time.

"It happened in like three months from finding out he was a match to getting the kidney because he was like we're going to do this as soon as we can."

The transplant happened November 7.

Today both are recovering and doing great.

"Everything has gone well. My numbers are wonderful. I go to the doctor every week - everything is great."

Young said he's going back to work next week and getting back to regular routine. He's happy his friend's life is getting back to normal too.

"At the same time I'm just happy that she has her life back. She's basically able to live her normal life."

Vasser is grateful for her new kidney and the fact she'll be able to share this holiday season with her family.

"It will be very special because I'll be able to eat, drink and be merry with my family because in the last couple of years I haven't been able to enjoy myself."

"Words can't explain how I feel about that. It's an amazing feeling."

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