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By Zahra Huber

DEARBORN (WWJ) – While social media is often criticized for things like bullying, it helped develop a friendship between two people that could save one of their lives.

“I messaged him and said ‘Hey!'”

Marty Sheedy of Dearborn connected with Detroiter Drew Drialo about four years ago, after he donated money to help someone with prune belly syndrome, something Sheedy was born with. He also has Arthogryposis, a disease that affects his joints.

The two became good friends; so good, that when Sheedy found out he needed a kidney, Drialo stepped up to the plate and got tested to donate.

“I feel like it just felt right. I didn’t really think about it too much. I was just committed to doing it,” Drialo told WWJ’s Zahra Huber.

They were a match, but there was some bad news: “A week before the surgery, I got a call in the morning saying that Marty’s antibodies had changed, and they didn’t feel totally comfortable giving him my kidney,” said Drialo.

Instead, doctors suggested a paired donation: Drialo gives his kidney to someone, and a third-party donates to Sheedy. Sheedy and Drialo will find out Friday if there’s a match.

Sheedy says he’s so thankful for everything: “I really don’t have any words, but I’m just blessed everyday.”

And of course, the two encourage others to donate organs — including kidneys of course.

“You’re born with two. If you donate one you can save somebody’s life and it gives you purpose, too,” said Drialo.

“You’re just paying it forward,” added Sheedy.

Sheedy does pay it forward, by the way. He started a foundation to help others like him called “Project Scissor Gait.” [Learn more at this link].

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