Man donates kidney to fiancee in ultimate Valentine’s gesture

A Canadian man learned he was a perfect match to donate a kidney to his girlfriend, so he bought an engagement ring.
Feb 12, 2016

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  • Instead of giving his heart to the woman he loved, a Canadian man gave his fiancee his kidney.

  • Literally, one of his internal organs is now doing whatever kidneys do for his future wife.

  • Christian Willenborg found out after a few dates with Errin Tollefson that she was currently on kidney dialysis and needed a donor, according to CBC in Canada. After seeing her get sick for the first time, he decided he would get tested to find out whether or not he would be able to donate.

  • According to WebMD, people who have lost around 85 to 90 percent of their kidney function need dialysis, often multiple times a week. Everyone needs at least one functioning kidney, and unless a person on dialysis receives a donor's kidney they will need to be on dialysis the rest of their life.

  • After Willenborg was tested, the doctors told him he was a perfect match. The National Kidney Foundation's website says blood tests, tissue typing and a special X-ray process are used to determine the quality of a match, which helps prevent the kidney being rejected by the patient's body.

  • "Twins are always a perfect match but for two non-family members to match nearly perfectly is relatively rare," Willenborg told CBC.

  • After hearing the good news, Willenborg said he went to buy an engagement ring.

  • The surgery was completed on Feb. 4. Willenborg stayed with Tollefson four days while she recovered. They have Valentine’s Day plans, but according to CBC, Tollefson is keeping them secret to surprise Willenborg.

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  • They are set to be married in August.

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Nick received a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication at Dixie State University in Utah where we was Opinion Editor at Dixie Sun News. Now he interns for Deseret News National. Follow him on Twitter at

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