GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A West Michigan man is scheduled to donate his kidney to a complete stranger on Monday. Matt Hollebeek said he's always thought about doing something significant, but the idea came to fruition thanks to his wife.
"She was working with a kid that needed a kidney. She's a physical therapist. Out of the blue, she said would you ever consider giving a kidney? I said sure, why not," he said.
Although he's not donating his kidney to the same kid after complications, he is donating it to someone else -- a complete stranger.
"I have a twin brother who was diagnosed with leukemia last January and he needed a bone marrow transplant in order to survive... Somebody's selfless act helped saved my brothers life, maybe I'll save somebody's life. We think we're doing it to help that person but in reality we're the ones that are going to be blessed way beyond what we can comprehend. Not even that we're asking for that," Hollebeek said.
He's hopeful one day he'll meet the recipient.
"The greatest part is maybe someday I get to experience his joy and he gets to sit across from me for coffee." Hollebeek said.
He said his job as a funeral director is a daily reminder there's no guarantee for tomorrow so he's thankful he was able to share a little bit of himself to save someone else.
"I'm around people who've lost people pretty much every day so I think I have a good appreciation for today's the gift. Maybe there's other things I can give but I've got to get through this surgery first," he said.
Hollebeek said he hoped his story inspired others.