BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) Two Bedford County sisters are opening up about their life-saving journey.
Faith and Valarie Eggleston are best friends. Not many sentences go by without them cracking a joke and bursting out in laughter. Just when they thought they couldn’t get any closer, 23-year-old Faith got some surprising news.
“At 19 my kidneys started to decline. 22 was when they were like you're either going to have to go on dialysis or go on a transplant,” said Faith. “That’s when my sister comes in.”
Faith and Valarie have been inseparable pretty much their entire lives, but a few months back they hit a new milestone. Valarie gave her little sister a kidney.
They knew this day might come. Faith was diagnosed with a kidney disorder at 15 months, but they didn’t expect it to happen so soon. Dialysis was something Faith had been afraid of and didn’t want to have to do, but her symptoms were getting worse. She mostly just wanted to sleep and found it very difficult to even go shopping.
Months after the transplant, the sisters laugh (a lot) and joke about the kidney. One text exchange shows Valarie asking Faith for a purse for her birthday. Faith says she didn’t get a purse for her birthday. Valarie sends a one line response, “U got a kidney”.
They’ve even named the kidney.
“I named it Montana,” said Faith.
But the journey wasn't all laughter, there were some hurdles Like when Faith was told she would have to wait over two years for a kidney.
“I knew it wasn't going to be easy. And I knew it was going to take a lot out of me,” said Faith. “And I didn't have a lot to give.”
When Valarie was being tested, at one point they thought she would be denied-
“That was probably the hardest part for me, because that was when it was like you might not be able to do this,” said Valarie.
It's a process that was overwhelming, but they are hoping that sharing their story will bring awareness to a kidney transplant wait list that is over 80,000 people long.
“We are both fine now. And if I can do it all over again I would,” said Valarie. “So I just want other people if they can save someone's life to do it. Or at least try.”
Because it was taking that chance that gave them a new lease on life, even if they express it in their own goofy way.
“We were walking out of Yankee Candle and she was so excited she could shop and not be tired,” said Valarie. “She was like thanks girl, and I was like you're welcome.”