Sorority sisters stress importance of live organ donors on ‘kidneyversary’

Cheryl Williams (L) and Candace Ogilvie (R) (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – After undergoing a simple surgical procedure, a Nashville woman says her sorority sister saved her life after the procedure turned anything but routine.

Complications from a tonsillectomy led to Candace Ogilvie’s kidney failing. Dialysis was no longer working and a transplant was needed.

Candace Ogilvie (Photo: WKRN)
Candace Ogilvie (Photo: WKRN)

Ogilvie told News 2 that Jan. 24, 2012 was a life-changer and a life-saver.

“Now looking back, the most emotional thing was literally that second chance of life,” she recalled.

After joking with a sorority sister, things began to move in Ogilvie’s favor.

“I said jokingly, ‘Well Candace if you can ring some of the champagne out of one of these, you can have mine,” donor Cheryl Williams said.

Williams learned she was a match after undergoing tests.

“She tested and we were a match – almost as if we were sisters,” Ogilvie said.

In a sense the two women are sisters – they’re sorority sisters.

Cheryl Williams (L) and Candace Ogilvie (R) (Photo: WKRN)
Cheryl Williams (L) and Candace Ogilvie (R) (Photo: WKRN)

“We have a saying in Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority that we help each other, and we do no matter what,’” Williams explained.

It’s that bond that Ogilvie said gave her new life.

“To selflessly give of yourself, you know, literally she gave me one of her organs, but it literally thanking God for that second chance of life, because she didn’t have too,” Ogilvie said.

Ogilvie and Williams are now advocates spreading awareness about the need for living kidney donors, especially within the African-American community.

“Being a living donor saves lives – it doesn’t compromise your quality of life,” Williams said.

On this the fifth anniversary, or “kidneyversy” as the friends call it, the two woman are forever a part of each other.

“I didn’t think it was going to turn out to be a kidney, but if that what she needed and that’s what I could provide, that’s what I did,” Williams said.

“She is my angel here on earth,” Ogilvie said.

If you want to know more about living kidney donations you can visit the Tennessee Kidney Foundation’s website.