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Menomonie man finds kidney donor through Facebook

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Chippewa Valley (WQOW) - Last October, News 18 interviewed Jacob Yaeger, a 20-year-old man from Menomonie who had been in desperate need of a kidney transplant for over a year.

Now, thanks to social media, he's found a match with Alliee Konz, who lives across the state.

"I feel like the way everything fell into place was how it was meant to be," said Alliee.

Alliee found out she was accepted to be a kidney donor just a couple weeks ago, and is already scheduled for an organ transplant to Jacob on Thursday.

"It's his 21st birthday the day after surgery, so I feel like it'll be a whole new year for him and a good start," Allie said. "And that just makes me feel really good."

Despite having never met Jacob, Alliee applied to be his kidney donor back in October when she saw a Facebook post made by Jacob's mom desperately trying to find a match, that's now been shared over 4,000 times.

A friend of Alliee's passed away just a month before she applied. That friend had donated his organs posthumously, inspiring her to also try and save a life.

"Being that live donor, it's a good thing," Alliee said. "It's happy all around. It's not sad for one family and happy for another. It's happy for me, and it's happy for my recipient."

As Alliee learned that Jacob hasn't been able to work due to his condition, and is spending most of his week in dialysis, it became clear that her sacrifice wasn't only saving his life, but giving him some freedom.

"I never imagined living a life like that," she said. "Like, I go to work, that's just my daily thing. I hang out with my friends. You know, I can go shopping, and he can't do any of that."

Now she hopes that others will lead by her example, and become donors themselves, from anything to blood to organs.

"When I told my parents about it, my dad's like, 'Wow that makes me want to donate blood and try and help that way,'" said Alliee. "And I said, 'You know, every little thing can lead to a big thing for somebody.'"

Jacob and his mom have been busy making arrangements for the transplant and his recovery period down in Madison.

They said they're thankful to everyone who shared their original Facebook post that brought them in contact with Alliee.

Jacob is also looking forward to staying out of the hospital and dialysis in the future.

Mary Pautsch

Mary came to News 18 in July 2019 from Sioux City, Iowa where she graduated from Morningside College with a BA in Spanish after attending Iowa State University for 3 years.

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