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Virginia Union graduate receives long-awaited kidney transplant

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- A Virginia Union University graduate who took to social media to help find a kidney donor has found a match and underwent successful surgery Thursday.

CBS 6 first told you about 29-year-old Ronnell Lewis in May.

The single father of two suffers from Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis or FSGS, a progressive form of kidney disease.

Lewis was undergoing Dialysis treatment 10 hours a day for the last year.

Ronnell Lewis

Ronnell Lewis

He was desperately searching for a new kidney. He received numerous offers from people willing to help, but he couldn’t find a donor who matched with blood types B or O.

Wednesday night, Lewis found the long-awaited match from Harper Smith, a woman who says she first heard Lewis through a CBS19 news report.

"I read the article about him, and I immediately commented that I wanted to see if I was a match," she said. "I didn't want to live my life saying I might need this kidney. I would rather give it to someone who needs a kidney."

Harper Smith

Harper Smith

"Just the thought of having a breath of fresh air or a sigh of relief is definitely exciting," he said after finding a match.

Lewis and Smith underwent successful surgery Wednesday morning. Family and friends say Lewis and Harper is doing well after the four hour procedure.

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