Firefighter gives kidney to wife’s best friend

Brad Yoder signed up to be a living donor and was a perfect match for Dana Clayton

Dana Clayton and Cowlitz firefighter Brad Yoder, August 12, 2016 (KOIN)
Dana Clayton and Cowlitz firefighter Brad Yoder, August 12, 2016 (KOIN)

KELSO, Wash. (KOIN) — Firefighters often risk their lives to save others in a fire, but Cowlitz County firefighter Brad Yoder is about to undergo surgery to save his wife’s best friend.

Yoder’s wife, Laura, has been best friends with Dana Clayton for many years. But Dana suffers from polycystic kidney disease and was placed on a transplant list for a new kidney.

About Polycystic Kidney Disease
Living Donor info – Legacy Health

One night, Brad overheard his wife and Dana talking about it. He went in the other room and signed up to be a living donor — but didn’t tell his wife about it until doctors discovered he and Dana were an exact match.

Instead of waiting for years, it took just a short time to find the person who could save her life.

“Most candidates go through a 4-6 month testing process before finding a match. Ours took only six weeks; it was just meant to be,” he said.

Dana Clayton, Cowlitz firefighter Brad Yoder and Laura Yoder, August 12, 2016 (KOIN)
Dana Clayton, Cowlitz firefighter Brad Yoder and Laura Yoder, August 12, 2016 (KOIN)

Brad said he has no second thoughts about his decision to donate one of his kidneys, even though it will be about 2 months before he can return to his 24-hour shifts at the fire station.

Co-workers at Cowlitz 2 Station and other firefighters in his union are donating sick time.

He said he’s excited, not worried, about the surgery, which is scheduled for Monday. He hopes it inspires others to volunteer as living donors.

“For me,” he said, “this is the ultimate in servanthood. I’m donating so that she can live, period.”

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