WANTAGH, Long Island (WABC) -- Two neighbors share more than just the same neighborhood on Long Island.
Joe Boyce, 56, fought kidney disease for years until his kidneys failed. He launched a social media campaign, hoping he could find a match with someone willing to donate one of their kidneys. That person who ended up giving him a kidney was not a stranger.
Boyce is not taking his independence lightly this July 4.
The truth is - his health, his mobility, and his freedom from a future on dialysis were all made possible by one very kind neighbor.
"Me and my wife always have these conversations, like 'we can never repay her,' and you know, that's a struggle," Boyce said.
Back on June 6, Boyce received a kidney from Liz Haines, 46, and Haines has a lot going on of her own - she has four kids and a job.
"When we first started, we weren't sure how quickly the process would move," she said.
However, it sure did - Boyce's kidney function was deteriorating and he was on a waitlist. The wait time in New York State is anywhere from five to seven years for a donor.
The community in Wantagh got word after Boyce's family started a website.
Haines lives right around the corner from Boyce - two of their kids are in the same grade school, but their families were not originally best friends.
Haines' gift was truly next level - and she hopes people understand that the recovery was pretty easy.
"I would say by like week two I felt really great," Haines said.
Haines said maybe she made the right choice because she lost her mother when she was only five.
"My dad was probably the most selfless, caring person ever. So I think that really motivates me to do it," added Haines.
Haines then lost her father in December.
"I owe it to her - to pay it forward," Boyce said.
It is a gift that will surely keep giving.
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