Target employee donates kidney to co-worker in need

OMAHA, Nebr. — In between folding shirts and stocking swimwear at the Super Target near 132nd and L streets, a friendship formed between Carrie Ferris and Jeremy Meyer.

“She just came on board and we started talking,” Meyer said.

The two met while working in the apparel department and quickly realized they share more than just a job.

“We have the same birthday — Four years apart but the day exactly,” Ferris said.

Ferris and Meyer are also both from Omaha, but come from different backgrounds.

Ferris, 35, joined the Target team nearly two years ago. She works as a visual merchandiser and is a wife and a mother.

Meyer, 39, has worked at Target for 16 years. It was his first job after serving in the military.

“I was medically discharged out of the military with diabetes Type 1,” Meyer said. “From there, things just started gradually going down. (The) past few years, my kidneys took a hit.”

On the verge of dialysis, Meyer needed a new kidney. His family members could not donate because of age or health issues.

“It was, like, ‘OK, who could possibly donate for me?'” Meyer said.

He decided to bring pamphlets about living kidney donors into work. Ferris read through them and later found another similarity between the two.

“I was, like, ‘Oh, well, what’s your blood type?'” Ferris said. “He said, ‘A positive,’ and I was, like, ‘Oh, that’s mine.'”

Ferris filled out the forms and months of tests followed.

“(I was) really hoping that it would go forward,” Ferris said.

“It was, like, excitement because, at the same time, I possibly have somebody willing to help me out,” Meyer said.

Ferris and Meyer found out in January the transplant was going to take place.

“I was shocked that somebody actually stepped in like Carrie,” Meyer said.

“I feel like, if the positions were reversed, I would hope someone would do it for me,” Ferris said. “So, I feel like I couldn’t really ask that unless I was willing to do it.”

It was a selfless act by Ferris to help save Meyer’s life. Target — and maybe even fate, Ferris said — brought the two together.

“We were meant to find each other at some point to help him out,” Ferris said.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to have that people care,” Meyer said.

Meyer and Ferris both had surgery on Jan. 30. Ferris said she’s doing great and plans to return to work in mid-February.

Meyer said the kidney worked immediately and he already feels healthier. He hopes to return to work at Target in about six weeks.

Both Meyer and Ferris hope their story raises awareness about kidney donation.

“Let people know that you can donate,” Ferris said. “It doesn’t have to be a relative. You can do it anonymously or it can be someone you barely know.”

More information on how to sign up to be a living donor is listed at this link.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Meyer and Ferris cover medical expenses.

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