‘It’s so funny how things work out.’
When Lori Intericchio and Alana Duran matched on the dating app Tinder in August 2015, little did they know what was about to unfold in two short months of dating.
They were about to have matching scars.
Alana, who had been diagnosed with lupus at the age of 12, was living on dialysis and had been searching for a kidney for the past four years.
Her family wasn’t a donor match, according to Fox 5, so she put herself on the waiting list. And there she patiently waited for years.
Lori soon learned about Alana’s predicament. She knew her girlfriend wasn’t living her best possible life without the care she needed. By their third or fourth date, she decided to look into the situation for herself.
It turned out the two women had even more in common than they realized. Lori was a kidney-transplant match for Alana.
“By the time I learned that I was a match a couple of weeks later I had already done a ton of research and that really took away any fear,” Lori told TODAY.
She decided she was going to go for it (!), but not without telling Alana in the greatest way ever.
Lori’s surprise video announcing their donor match melted hearts worldwide on Facebook.
First you see Alana rummaging through a box of some of her favorite little things. You know, glitter pens, Star Wars Band-Aids, junk food. She then slowly starts to make her way to the bottom.
She’s greeted with a familiar card of the Tinder screen when they matched just weeks before, and Alana looks a bit confused. But then the wording hits her.
Accept kidney or stay on waitinglist?!
“Who knew that when we both swiped right on Tinder that day, that we would be more than just girlfriends but that she would be my kidney donor!” Alana captioned.
In February 2016, Alana and Lori both underwent successful surgeries. Alana now has the kidney she needed and a new shot at life.
And Lori’s used the opportunity to give a much-needed wake-up call on the ridiculous stigma and restrictions placed on certain donors.
“I love the outpouring of love and support that Alana and I have been receiving,” she said, “but it pains me to know that if we were a couple of gay men, my kidney would be considered at risk.”
“While I might be able to donate a kidney to her, I wouldn’t be able to donate blood or tissue. I feel strongly that our federal government should be able to look past a person’s sexual orientation in deciding whether or not they are suitable to give the gift of life.”
The reality is that someone gets added to the donor waiting list every 10 minutes.
And an average of 22 people will die each day waiting for transplants that never happen because of the shortage of donated organs, says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The number of people on the waiting list only continues to grow. It’s up to every single one of us to help fix the gap by registering and by putting pressure on the government to make tissue, blood, and organ donations more inclusive. (They’ve started making some strides on that.)
The internet is capable of connecting us in remarkable ways. We can build relationships, play games, register to become organ donors, and sometimes even find our perfect match.
For Alana, that perfect match turned out to be her girlfriend Lori, who she would have never met if it hadn’t been for technology (and maybe a little luck).
What an amazing world we live in.