Georgia Hooters Waitress Donating Kidney To Long-Time Customer Suffering From Kidney Cancer

Don Thomas lost both of his kidneys to kidney cancer. However, on Friday, he will get the life-saving kidney he needs thanks to an unlikely source: a Hooters waitress from Georgia. Mariana Villarreal, a Hooters waitress, barely knew Don Thomas when she offered to give him one of her kidneys. The Hooters waitress says that she lost her grandmother to kidney failure and that this is her way of giving back. Don Thomas says he is a long-time customer of the Roswell, Georgia, Hooters, but that Mariana was new to the establishment when she made the life-altering offer to him.

USA Today reports that Don Thomas found his kidney donor in a local Hooters that he frequented. Thomas says that he was discussing his kidney cancer with Hooters waitress Mariana Villarreal when she made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Don notes that the waitress simply asked him, “Well I have two kidneys, do you want one of mine?”

Don replied simply with “I will accept it.”

When speaking with ABC News, Mariana says that she felt compelled to help Don as she had lost her grandmother to kidney cancer. Though Mariana says she doesn’t know Don outside of the restaurant, she felt that the donation was something she was being called to do. She hopes that her actions will inspire others to donate organs to those in need.

“I wasn’t able to do anything for my grandma. If [Don] can live two more years, happy as he’s ever been, that’s fine with me. That’s not up to me. I did my part, now it’s God’s turn to keep him alive.”

Chris Bond with the Georgia Transplant Foundation notes that donating a kidney is easier than some might think.

“A lot of people don’t realize how easy it is — relatively — to give someone a new life.”

The waitress and Don are both scheduled to go under the knife on Friday. Harrison Pollinger, one of the program directors of the Piedmont Transplant Institute, notes that both Don and Mariana should be able to go on and live healthy, normal lives following the transplant. Pollinger says that you only need one kidney to function normally so the outlook for the pair is good.

“You can live your whole life with one just kidney. You only need one kidney for normal kidney function.”

What do you think of the Hooter’s waitress and her selfless donation? Would you donate a kidney to someone you barely know?

[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Ethan Miller]

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