The most that many of us get out of Tinder are some creepy messages and maybe an awkward first date. Erika Bragan is getting a new kidney thanks to the dating app and a very generous stranger.
Bragan, however, doesn’t use Tinder herself. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Bragan’s friend, Rich O’Dea, went on a Tinder date with a woman named Jennifer Thomas. During the date, Thomas mentioned that she’s a marathon runner, which led to O’Dea mentioning Bragan, because her husband runs marathons to raise research funds for the Polycystic Kidney Disease foundation, which Erika Bragan has. That’s when the date took a twist.
In an uncommon show of generosity, Thomas volunteered to donate a kidney to Erika Bragan. She and Bragan have the same blood type, and after a few weeks of tests, Thomas was deemed a match. The transplant is set to happen on Nov. 18.
PKD is a serious genetic disease. The Tampa Bay Times reports that around 50 percent of sufferers develop failing kidneys by age 50. There’s also a 50 percent chance of adults passing the disease onto their children. Currently, Bragan’s kidney function is at 5 percent.
This story is not only completely surreal and heartwarming, it pretty much justifies Tinder’s existence, even though Thomas and O’Dea ended up not being a match romantically. Here’s to a successful transplant and recovery for all involved.