By Kimberly Davis

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two men working in the same building met by chance. The rest is an incredible story about giving the gift of life.

Treat others how you’d like to be treated. That’s how one man lived his life, but he never knew one small act of kindness would turn into a life-saving friendship.

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“It’s a special breed, for sure. Especially those that do it altruistically,” said Dr. Ty Dunn, kidney and pancreas transplantation director at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sharing your spare takes a special kind of person, according to Dr. Dunn.

In Larry Adams’ case, the man who repaired the elevator at the homeless shelter he worked at is that special breed.

“One day I went in and saw Brian working on the elevator and we started having a conversation,” Adams said.

That small conversation started a friendship. Adams was in need of a kidney transplant with no donor insight.

“He knew that I was on dialysis so I told him that my daughter wanted to give me a kidney, but they wouldn’t let her because she was too young. She was 21 years old,” Adams said.

Brian Doran learned that Adams’ blood type was O negative in that conversation, the same as his. But that’s where the conversation stopped and Adams continued making necessary health changes to be cleared for a transplant and met with Dr. Dunn.

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“She said, ‘You seem like the perfect candidate. We’ll be in touch with you,’ and I said OK,” Adams said.

On his way back from the doctor’s office he saw “Brian the elevator man” pop up on his phone, where he told him about his appointment.

“He said, ‘Can I add to your great news?’ And I said, ‘Sure, what’s going on?’ And he said, ‘Me and my wife Lori were talking and I want to try to see if I can be a donor for you.’ And I was just blown away,” Adams said.

Adams never knew that the elevator repairman would wind up elevating his health.

“He’s never asked me for anything, except coats to help others. So in my phone, it says ‘Larry Adams, helping others.’ Because that’s all he does,” Doran said.

When the two first met, Adams told Doran if you treat people with respect, they’ll treat you with respect and the world will be a better place.

Doran held onto those words and decided to change Adams’ life forever.

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“That’s my gift to him. He’s given me a gift to be a better person. I’m going to keep him on this earth as long as I can. Because all he does with that is help other people.”