The Perfect Match: Local couple plan to marry after life-changing organ donation


Greg Bolick and Noel Chesar met at the end of 2014.

“We had a hard time doing things that most couples in the beginning would do," said Chesar.

After a few weeks of friendship, Greg told Noel he suffered a stroke in January of that year, which damaged his kidneys.

“It was tough to have a relationship, really," said Greg.

"Like, being on dialysis three times a week and going for treatments, and always feeling run down. It was kind of tough to get out there and do things and enjoy life. I’m like, ‘is this what the rest of my life is going to be like?’ Thankfully it wasn’t," he said.

Soon after they began dating, Greg’s numbers started improving.

He thought he would be able to eventually come off dialysis, but was mistaken.

Doctors told him he had two options.

He could receive a kidney from a living donor, or have dialysis for the rest of his life.

“For me dialysis was the worst," he said.

"It was four hours, three times a week. Like you couldn’t have much of a life, couldn’t go on vacations without having a dialysis center there. It was really impossible to enjoy life.”

However, Noel had a plan.

“We knew each other for six months and I was ready to give him the kidney," she said.

It wasn’t a quick process, and it made Noel nervous.

“I was constantly stressed out, worrying," she said.

"I wanted to do it so much, like I wanted it to happen so much that, if I wasn’t a match, or I couldn’t go through with it, I think it would have been a lot harder on me than the recovery, post-op.”

Luckily, the couple received good news and underwent surgery in January of 2016 at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.

“I got put on the list for the transplant. It was a seven and a half year life, you know, and a year later she walked into my life and completely changed it.”

Doctor Christine Du is the Surgical Director of Living Kidney Transplants at the hospital.

Dr. Du was the surgeon who did the transplant.

"It is such a lovely story. They are such a lovely couple and they are having this happy beginning again. It's truly an act of kindness that we don't get to hear a lot about," Du said.

Noel may have saved Greg’s life, but she says the feeling’s mutual.

It made me more motivated to do things. It’s given me a drive like I’ve never had before. I was determined, I wanted to run my first half-marathon after the surgery. I don’t think I would have done that if we hadn’t had it.”

As for Greg, he says it gave him is life back.

“It really made me appreciate things that maybe I took for granted in the past.

Greg and Noel say they are currently looking at wedding venues across Northeastern Pennsylvania.

They plan to get married in 2020.

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