PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–April is National Donate Life Month.
Currently there are more than 118,000 people waiting for organ transplants, but many of them will die because there are not enough donors.
Traditionally organs for transplant come from people who have died but now there’s a growing number of donations that come from the living.
Health reporter Stephanie Stahl has the story of one living donor who is giving the gift of life to the man she has loved for decades.
Angel and Bert Fox love spending time with their grandchildren in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
And after 44 years of marriage they are more devoted to each other than ever.
“He’s my best friend, he’s my life, he’s my world,” said Angel.
But for years much of their world has been consumed with Bert’s struggle with hepatitis and in 1995 he needed a liver transplant.
“I pray for my donor’s family,” said Bert. “I think about them all the time.”
Since his life-saving liver transplant operation, Bert has been competing in the Transplant Games.
“These are all the medals I’ve won swimming and playing volleyball,” said Bert as his grandson proudly held up handfuls of his grandad’s gold, silver and bronze medals.
Bert managed to stay healthy for decades partly because of the drugs he has to take.
“This is the anti-rejection medicine,” he said.
It’s the drug that over the years has destroyed his kidneys.
For the 63-year-old, his only hope is another transplant.
“I didn’t give it any thought at all,” says Angel. “I just said you can have mine.”
As she gets ready to give her husband a kidney, Angel stays busy at work at Virtua Memorial on the mother baby unit.
She became a nurse, figuring the knowledge could help take care of her husband.
“If it wasn’t for her,” said Bert overtaken by emotion as he began to describe what his wife’s gift of life means to him.
He’s been emotional since the couple found out that Angel was a match.
Now these soulmates about to turn into life mates.
“I’m just happy that I’ll have a chance to keep going,” he said.
Angel says it’s simple because there’s no way she could live without her best friend.
The transplant surgeries are scheduled for Wednesday.
Doctors expect both Angel and Bert will do well and will be back to enjoying life and their grandchildren very soon.
They want everyone to know the importance of being an organ donor.
To learn more about the donor program CLICK HERE.