Mount Pleasant natives become ‘kidney cousins’
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Two cousins now share something more than a grandmother. Mount Pleasant native Natasha Weston gave her cousin the ultimate gift of life: her kidney.
It all started in a family Facebook group when Weston saw a post about her older cousin, Myron Rivers, needing a kidney.
“I basically prayed, and I was like, if I’m supposed to do this, then let everything check out on my end,” Weston said.
After extensive testing, she said she was excited when she got word that she and Rivers were a match. Rivers, on the other hand, said he was a little apprehensive at first.
“She’s my little cousin. I’m 51 years old, she’s 35,” Rivers said. “She has so much life still to live, I didn’t want to take anything away from her living her life.”
After asking their care team questions, the pair was reassured and moved forward with the transplant at MUSC just three weeks ago. However, MUSC still has over 1,000 people on their list waiting for a kidney, hospital officials said.
In fact, South Carolina has the second-highest waitlist for kidney transplants in the nation per capita according to Prisma Health.
“There’s not enough organs to go around,” MUSC Transplant Surgery Physician Assistant Zachary Sutton said.
Sutton said the high rates of diabetes and hypertension in South Carolina drive kidney disease, growing that waitlist.
“There’s more patients in need of a resource that we don’t have enough of,” Sutton said.
The pair said they hope sharing their story will inspire someone else to check if they’re a match with a family member.
“If you can give someone an organ, and have them live longer, especially a family member, that’s more time y’all have together,” Rivers said.
Weston said of all her accomplishments, this one is the most meaningful.
“Because it’s somebody’s life, and it’s somebody that I’m family with,” Weston said. “The fact that he’s my family makes it extra special.”
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