‘We screamed:’ Woman learns she’s a perfect match for her high school sweetheart, in need of a kidney

MILWAUKEE -- When Denise and Robert Anderson said, "I do" 33 years ago, they knew they were perfect for each other. In January, when Robert's kidneys began to fail, he was told a transplant was needed. That's when he found out just how perfect his wife truly is for him.

"We're high school sweethearts," said Robert Anderson. "We've raised three lovely children, and have four lovely grandchildren."

After more than three decades together, a routine doctor's visit nearly broke their hearts.

Denise and Robert Anderson

Denise and Robert Anderson

"Found out that the kidneys were starting to diminish," said Robert Anderson.

Denise Anderson, who works as a nurse, knew what this meant.

"We know what diseases can do to people, and it changes lives," said Denise Anderson.

Robert and Denise Anderson

Robert and Denise Anderson

Doctors said a transplant was needed, but waiting for one could take years. Quick-thinking Denise Anderson had a different idea.

"So we were actually doing a blood drive at my work, waited about a week, and then called the blood center," said Denise Anderson. "I knew his blood type was A+, and she comes back on the phone and she said, 'You're A+.' And she said, 'But why do you want to know?' And I said, 'Because my husband needs a transplant, and I need to know my blood type.' And she started crying. She said, 'His is A+, and yours is A+.'"

Robert and Denise Anderson were a perfect match.

Robert and Denise Anderson

Robert and Denise Anderson

"We screamed," said Denise Anderson. "We screamed. I was happy!"

"We frequent Vegas every so often," said Robert Anderson. "We'll win the big lottery. Well, I've won the big lottery. I've had the big lottery. It's my wife."

Denise Anderson will give the gift of life to her perfect match on Aug. 22 at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center.

"He gave me his heart, and I'm giving him a kidney," said Denise Anderson. "That's easy."

Robert and Denise Anderson

Robert and Denise Anderson

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