Mom of 5 Donates Kidney to Dying 8-Yr-Old with Same Rare Blood Type


You’re waiting in your car at a stoplight, and you see a homeless person off to the side holding a sign that — in some fashion or other — is asking for charity.

Are you the kind of person to look around for something to hand over, or do you ignore them and wait anxiously for the light to turn green?

Giving a few bucks or some spare change here and there isn’t going to be that hard, but what if someone asked for more? What if someone literally asked for a part of you?

It makes all the difference, though, when it’s a life or death situation.

Kari Woods, mom of five, was a volunteer at an annual Vacation Bible School last summer when she saw someone in need, and she couldn’t shake the feeling that she, personally, was the one to help.

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“They asked all the kids ‘What are your goals in life?’ and she was 8 at the time,” Woods said. “When they asked her, she said she wanted to live to be 10.”

Most kids would answer things along the lines of astronaut, doctor, or veterinarian — but that’s because their own mortality isn’t on their minds.

Abby Steinard, just 8 years old, understood how serious her condition was. She was on dialysis daily for over 9 hours just to stay alive.

But after Woods heard the poor little girl’s wish, a still, small voice kept urging her to give.

“I kept feeling a voice tell me, ‘Give her your kidney,’ and I just kind of put it in the back of my mind,” she said. “And I kept hearing, ‘No, give her your kidney.’”

It’s not quite as simple as shelling out a kidney: You have to be a match. So Woods found out what Abby’s blood type was.

“They said her blood type is O Negative, and I said, ‘Well that’s my blood type, and I only need one kidney.’”

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It seemed clear that Woods was indeed meant to help out this young stranger, so in December of last year, she went to St. Vincent’s to give Abby a new life.

The operation was a rousing success, with positive results visible almost immediately.

“She started to get her color back probably on the second day, and then the activity level,” the doctor who performed the surgery said. “By the end of the hospital stay, she was roaming around on the floor.”

Abby is doing better and has plenty more energy. And Woods? She’s expecting a new member of the family, and is pregnant with her sixth child!

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