Nicole Garcia with children, Deigan, 14, Laynee, 11 and Corbin 9 photo:contributed

Kelowna woman hopes to inspire others to consider donating a kidney

Nicole Garcia donated her kidney to a friend in October

A Kelowna woman has given her kidney to a man who has now become like family.

Nicole Garcia, a single mother of three is a care aid was taking care of a client when she got the idea that she wanted to donate her kidney to someone who needed it.

“She needed dialysis three times a week and when she got back she would explain what she did and who she met. She met tons of people that were just waiting for kidneys and there were not enough people donating,” said Garcia.

While she was in the process of filling out the paperwork to be an anonymous donor, her friend mentioned that her husband needed a kidney.

RELATED: Okanagan man reflects on life after being a recipient of kidney transplant

“If I was going to donate to a stranger, why not donate to him,” said Garcia. “We have two kidneys, when someone needs help we help them. When they need a blanket, we give it to them.”

On Oct. 29 Garcia gave Joseph Miller her kidney. She now has four incisions and three children that help her through her recovery. She will be off work for another two months because of how physically demanding her career is and then she will be able to slowly return to her action packed routine.

RELATED: Okanagan boy helping launch B.C. Children’s Hospital Christmas fundraiser

“I am really glad people are giving me such good feedback (about her donation) but it shouldn’t be that rare,” said Garcia.

Garcia hopes that her donation will inspire others to do the same, and says that even though the recovery process will be long it will all have been worth it.

Miller has two young children and had to be in Vancouver for his recovery and routine check ups.

“He has been living in a hotel and he has been away from his family,” said Garcia. “We now talk to them every day and we are planning on seeing each other in March,” said Garcia.

The pair hope to be healed in time for Christmas.

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