August 6, 2019
Boua XiongStaff Writer
You can work with people for years and not know much about them. Unless you’re like Katie Moran, a social butterfly who knows just about everyone at Best Buy’s Geek Squad City.
Katie, a Geek Squad Agent at the technology-repair facility in Kentucky, noticed that friend and colleague Agent Mike Beams was missing a lot of work.
“When it kept happening, I started asking him more questions about what’s going on,” Katie said.
She learned Mike was sick and getting sicker. He had been living with a kidney disease for five years, and his kidneys were starting to fail. Despite the daily pain, he never said a word.
“I don’t like when people complain because everyone’s got issues, and I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me,” Mike said.
Katie noticed a brochure about kidney transplants on Mike’s desk one day. She was determined to help him get better, so she took time off and drove two hours for testing to see if she’d be a good donor. It took a few months, but she got word that her kidney was the perfect match for Mike. There was no question she would donate.
“I called him, and I’m pretty sure I was in tears already,” she recalled. “I’m pretty sure that he was crying, too.”
They scheduled surgery right away. They got to see each other before the operation, even taking pictures to lighten the mood. Katie and Mike were nervous and a little scared but, more than anything, they were grateful.
The surgery was a success, and Katie and Mike were in the hospital less than a week.
As Mike got the news, all he could think about was his newborn daughter, Caroline.
“It was always sad to think of high school and college and know there was a chance I might not be there,” Mike said. “Now I can be there. This is crazy to think that someone would be willing to do that for me.”
A few months ago, Mike and Katie both returned to work, healthy and thankful for each other. Mike is getting ready to celebrate Caroline’s first birthday, which is exactly what Katie wanted for her friend after spending years watching her own father fight lymphoma.
“My father is in remission now, but I made a promise to myself that if an opportunity came up that I could affect someone’s life that really needed it, I was going to do anything I could,” Katie said.
Mike and Katie are both advocates for organ donation now, living proof of how one gift can touch many lives.
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