Pastor donates kidney to parishioner in need - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Pastor donates kidney to parishioner in need

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JACKSONVILLE - AL -

For Jennifer Borders, "faith in action" has a whole new meaning.

"There's not any words (to describe it), Borders says. "We're so blessed because you don't get, most people don't ever get a kidney."

Borders has dealt with chronic kidney disease since she was a teenager. Even undergoing two previous transplants from living donors. Neither kidney properly took.

"I didn't really know anything was going on, I just kept going on (with life) pretty much normal.
When you have kids and work and you're a mom you just do what you have to do," she says.

Her last transplant worked for nine years. When Borders got sick last spring, she had to go back on dialysis. After trying a number of treatments to keep the failing kidney, it became clear borders would have to find her third kidney transplant.

Borders says, "I was just nauseated all the time, and I should have picked up on it maybe before but I had different symptoms this time than I had ever had before."

The night before making the trip to UAB hospital, several deacons, including pastor Derek Staples met with the Borders in the prayer room at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville. 
It was in this prayer room, where Borders believes God connected her with the perfect donor match.

"We just prayed for them to find an answer and for healing for whatever happened," Borders says. "I really felt God would provide another donor."

Pastor Staples remembers that night, "We just laid hands on her and prayed for God to do something that would just bring Him glory."

After meeting with several friends, to see who could be a potential donor, Jennifer found the match through a familiar face. Her pastor, Derek Staples.

"I remember saying to (Jennifer's husband) Jason, wouldn't it be something if God used one of us in this room to be a blessing to Jennifer," Staples recalls. "I would of never dreamed in a million years that it would have been me. Immediately, my wife and I, we knew that this was of the Lord."

It was just before Christmas when doctors decided to move forward with the procedure.

The Borders shared their experience in a web-blog as part of the "2-Give-Life" network.
To bring more awareness to organ donation.

More than 3,500 people are on the Alabama organ donor list.

Beverly Berry with the Alabama Organ Center says there's a misconception about organ donation.

"I think the biggest myth is that people think if I have it on my (drivers) license then they won't try to save my life, that they're going to let me die to take my organs to use for somebody else," Berry says. "Something that people don't know is that we have to have consent from the family or next of kin, even if it is on your license."

Now, the Borders and pastor Staples share a lifelong bond.

If Staples had to do it all over again...

"There wasn't any hesitation, in my spirit about donating a kidney, in fact it was very humbling that of all the people, God would select me," he says.