Stranger steps forward to give police officer life-saving kidney

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by Stacey Delikat

azfamily.com

Posted on August 10, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 15 at 6:30 PM

PHOENIX -- Retired Bullhead City Police Sergeant Mike Newman is in dire need of a kidney transplant.

Kellie Boff has always wanted to help others. So when she heard about Newman, she did not think twice about stepping up.

"It was a definite just pull, I can't say anything different," Boff said. "I've always believed in helping where you can help."

Newman was diagnosed with kidney failure in August 2010 and soon his daily routine came to revolve around dialysis and doctors appointments.

"It was a tremendous stress on my finances, stress on my poor wife, it's just terrible stress on my family," Newman said

His doctors added him to the national transplant registry, but he knew the wait could be many years.

His colleagues at the police department wanted to help, and so the public information officer sent out an email to various contacts within the city.

The email landed in Boff's inbox.

"When the opportunity came up I was just kind of drawn to it," Boff, a director of operations for the Bullhead City Chamber of Commerce, said.

She called the Mayo Clinic, where Newman is a patient, and agreed to get a blood test to see if she was a match.

"You never go into it thinking it's going to work, and I don't even know this man, at this point haven't even spoken to him so when I got the phone call that, 'oh yea it was all good', I'm like...wow," Boff said. "I just believe at this point that it was meant to happen."

That was about three months ago. Ever since Boff and Newman have been undergoing intensive testing to make sure the transplant will be successful.

"It's just so awesome, she's an awesome lady," Newman said, "It's amazing, how can I thank her?"

On Friday they participated in a press conference with doctors in an attempt to encourage others to become organ donors.

Approximately 1,700 people in Arizona are currently awaiting a kidney according to the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona.

The Fraternal Order of Police wants to thank Boff for her generosity, so they're raising money to help her pay for expenses related to the surgery. They plan to hold a basketball fundraiser on August 18 in Bullhead City.

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