“I swiped right and got a new kidney,” said Cheyenne HanLee, 22.
Cheyenne, from Santa Ana, California, met her now boyfriend Gavin Teragawa on Tinder after he “super-starred” her. She had already been diagnosed with kidney failure but didn’t completely understand what it meant.
Several months later, while on a dinner date, Cheyenne suddenly collapsed.
Gavin took her straight to hospital for blood tests. At this point, Cheyenne told her about her kidney failure.
“When I first got Tinder, I didn’t believe that I was sick because my illness is invisible. No one else, including myself, could see that I was sick but I could feel it,” Cheyenne told MailOnline.
“Most people don’t live to that point, I would have died in a few days if I didn’t go to the hospital when I did.”
When she got to hospital, doctors told her that her kidney was operating at only 2% of her capacity. Within a few days she was probably doing to die if she didn’t get an immediate transplant.
“I already knew I wanted to get tested at that point, but I couldn’t really do anything for a while because there’s a process to get on the transplant list,” Gavin was quoted as saying.
It turned out that his kidney was a match. He didn’t hesitate.
Gavin donated his kidney to save his new girlfriend’s life.
“I was really sick; we didn’t talk about the transplant – I just thought I was going to die,” Cheyenne noted. “I never thought I would have found Gavin through this dating app, and now we are here and he’s giving me his kidney – it’s kind of crazy.”
They went through a successful operation in October and are both now recovering nicely.
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“When people ask the question of why I’m doing this, I tell them it’s not a question of why, but rather, how can I not? I don’t think I’m special, I think anybody in my position would do the same thing,” Gavin said.
“Regular 22-year-olds aren’t supposed to suffer like she has – I’ll do anything to make it a little better for her.”
Gavin said: ‘When people ask the question of why I’m doing this, I tell them it’s not a question of why, but rather, how can I not?
He continued: “I don’t think I’m special, I think anybody in my position would do the same thing.”
Cheyenne disagrees: “I don’t think so, I think he’s special.”
The transplant is a huge event in their relationship, though Cheyenne and Gavin both say it won’t affect them as a couple.
Gavin says he has no regrets, and would do the same thing even if they had already broken up.
“Beforehand, if she had broken up with me, I’d still do it. If she breaks up with me after, that will still be fine,” he said.
“It’s not about the relationship – it’s about giving her a good life and being healthy and happy.”