Childhood friends reunite through organ, eye and tissue donation

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 7:34 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Mark Holder is a Laramie resident and Lucy Williamson is a Cheyenne resident. Through Donor Alliance’s Advocate for Life volunteer program, and the group sharing recipes during the holidays, Williamson noticed a Hawaiian fudge recipe that was all too familiar.

“His grandmother was my Sunday School teacher and that recipe stood out to me. I was like, I know that food, I’ve eaten this.”

Williamson realized she and Holder had been childhood friends when they both were living in Riverton. It had been many years since they had connected, and since that realization months ago, they’ve stayed in contact.

Thursday morning was the first time they had spoken face to face, and as their computers connected to the call, it was easy to tell that they were excited to see each other. Being childhood friends is not the only thing that connects the two, they both have received liver transplants.

“It just kind of seals that connection even more,” said Holder.

Williamson is approaching her 12th year since her transplant and Holder is coming up on his one year anniversary. Williamson said she could hear the comfort in Holder’s voice when he learned how far she’s come.

“I’d mentioned to him how far out I was, and kind of the joy, or the relief, or astonishment in his voice was wow, here is somebody who is out there a ways. It is reassuring and joyful to know that this is a lifesaving transition for us,” said Williamson.

For both, they cannot thank the donors who made this possible enough.

“I wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t have that, so it certainly means the world to me that some family and some individual had the courage to say yes,” said Holder

“When we get the call to go to the hospital that they may have a donor for us, the first thing that all of us think about is that donor and that donor family, and we know that we’re alive because a donor family or a donor chose to make that gift,” said Williamson.

Both encourage Wyomingites to say yes to organ, eye and tissue donation, and are looking forward to meeting in person, in the future.

April is National Donate Life Month and for more information on organ donation, you can visit Donor Alliance’s website here.

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