How Social Media Helped a UVA Patient Get a Kidney Transplant

When Tory Kemp found out he would need a kidney transplant, a friend of his posted Kemp’s story on Facebook.

What followed shows the uncanny power of social media these days.

Nikki Ward saw the post and immediately responded. She and Kemp had gone to a Virginia Beach-area high school and although they knew of each other, they didn’t really know each other. The two ran in different circles. Now, a few decades after graduating, their paths would cross again.

Kemp was a patient at the University of Virginia Health System’s Charles O. Strickler Transplant Center. After an in-depth physical exam, Ward was told she and Kemp were a match. On Dec. 29, 2014, Ward donated a kidney to her former high school classmate. The surgery was a success for both donor and recipient.

The experience has brought the two together as friends. Each month, Kemp texts Ward on the 29th day thanking her for what she has done.

Media Contact

Erica Gregory

Web Producer UVA Health System