Gilbert mom goes on crusade of kindness, donates kidney to stranger

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Beth Ramirez is like a lot of Valley moms, who'd do anything for their kids.

So you can only imagine how helpless she felt when her daughter Alicia came down with a rare illness

"After I got done kicking and screaming and crying over her illness and diagnosis, I picked myself up and said now we move on and we find a way to change the world some other way," said Ramirez.

Alicia is now doing better, but that hasn't stopped the Gilbert mom from going on her own personal crusade of kindness, thinking that if she can't help her daughter, why not help someone else?

"You pay for a person behind you at the drive-thru, or pick up someone's tab at a restaurant or grocery store, and that was all fine, but it really wasn't enough for me," said Ramirez.

Ramirez decided she wanted to donate a kidney and save someone's life, and she didn't care who it was, or where they lived.

Nico Santos, with the Donor Network of Arizona, said it's extremely rare for someone to randomly donate an organ to a total stranger, while they are still alive.

But it's an incredible gesture considering there are close to 2,000 patients currently on the wait list for a kidney in Arizona.

"Anybody that's on the wait list needs it today, they needed it yesterday," said Santos. "That's how bad it is . You have to basically be in stage organ failure to qualify."

Ramirez donated her kidney two months ago, with the recipient in the operating room next door.

She doesn't know whose life she saved, but is hoping to meet her soon.

She's also hoping her story will inspire others to give the gift of life.

"I never wanted a pat on the back," said Ramirez. "It's not about me. It's about the need for kidney donation. If this can inspire one person to change one life - then it's all been worth it."

If you are interested in learning more about how to become an organ donor visit

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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