Wake County woman becomes kidney donor to stranger, inspires transplant chain

ABC11 Together highlights the strength of the human spirit, good deeds, community needs, and how our viewers can help
Zebulon, N.C. (WTVD) -- Tracy Schmitz lives in Zebulon, N.C. and has dedicated her life to helping people any way she can.

She works as a nanny, rescues, animals and volunteers at orphanages in third world countries. But, what she did on May 30 -- becoming an altruistic kidney donor -- is the ultimate example of her love of helping others.

"I didn't think twice about it," Schmitz said. "Actually, I was thinking somebody needs a kidney, I have two, I can live with one so, why not share the spare?"

Schmitz was inspired to donate after reading a friend's post on Facebook about how her teen daughter needed a kidney. Schmitz originally was tested for her but was not a match. Still, she had the desire to donate to anyone in need.

"I just knew that somebody was dying and they needed one and I didn't think twice about it," Schmitz said.

Her match ended up being George Adams, a 48-year-old father of three living in Columbia, S.C. who was diagnosed with kidney disease 15 years ago and had been on the transplant list for nine months.

"She's a lifesaver and a guardian angel," Adams said.

Schmitz's donation at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston led to a chain with a total of four people donating kidneys, including Adams wife.

He says the best thing he can do now to honor her is to take care of her kidney which saved his life.

"I call her my sister, we're brothers and sisters now because we can always be connected," Adams said.

There are more than 114,000 waiting for organs in the United States.
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.