Nearly four decades after the initial diagnosis, Kaye is thriving. She uses a Fitbit on her left wrist to keep her moving during the day and goes swimming a few times per week at the York JCC.
About eight years ago while she was on dialysis for four months and awaiting a kidney transplant, an attendant at the JCC interrupted her swim to tell her she had a call. A kidney was available, and if she hadn’t responded in 10 minutes, it would have moved on.
There were several times when Kaye was on dialysis, where she thought about giving up, but her daughters Sheryl and Jodell and a positive attitude wouldn’t let her.
“You have to really want to live and you have to put effort into it,” Kaye says. “Keep the stress level down – prayers and meditation help with that – and just keep on living.
Among the photos in the 71-year-old’s apartment is a gold-framed 8×10 photo of a broad, bald man with his daughter. The man is Jerry Hall from Winder, Georgia. The night before Kaye received her call, Jerry died of a stroke.
Jerry was an organ donor, and Kaye received his kidney on May 4, 2010. The match between the two was so perfect, that doctors called it a one-in-a-million chance.
“It was truly meant to be,” she says. “They told me I should buy a lottery ticket because this doesn’t happen. I don’t think it was luck; it was divine intervention.”