NewsPay It Forward


PIF Person of the Month: Sarah Farkas Donates Kidney To Stranger

Posted at 7:38 PM, Jan 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-31 20:00:03-05

ZEELAND, Mich., — Seven months ago, the lives of Sarah Farkas and Duke guy changed forever. Both were attending Second Reformed Church in Zeeland when Farkas marched up to Guy, who had been battling kidney disease for 30 years, and told him she wanted to donate one of her kidneys to him.

“I knew of Duke’s illness, it was in the bulletin every week and the congregation had been praying for him,” explained Farkas. “When I saw him at church, I walked up to him and said this is going to sound really crazy, but I think God wants me to give you one of my kidneys.”

Farkas said she was led by her faith and compelled to follow through with what seemed like a bizarre idea at the time.

“To be honest, I really didn’t know that I wanted to, I thought this is just crazy,” she said. “One of Duke’s first questions was what was my blood type, and I had no idea.”

Despite the odds, Farkas would soon learn that she and Guy shared the same blood type. After further testing, the pair received some more good news.

“She went in for tissue typing and it was a perfect six out of six match, which is the best for a transplant,” Guy told FOX 17 News. “It kind of took my breath away, like this is for real, it’s happening.”

After finding out she was indeed a perfect match, Farkas and Guy underwent successful surgeries at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s on January 13, 2014.

A few weeks into their recovery and doctors say that everything looks good.

Farkas, a single mother of two, had to take time off work before the operation and is continuing to scale back her responsibilities due to the surgery. Still, she has no regrets.

“The kidney was my calling,” she said. “I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

Guy is beyond grateful for his new lease on life and the chance to spend more time with his wife, children and four grandchildren. He’s not sure he will ever be able to say “thank you” enough.

“It’s just a miracle,” he said. “She’s really paid it forward. Hopefully I can do something to pay it forward to someone else.”

To nominate someone to be featured as our February Pay it Forward Person of the Month, click here.