Thomasville woman gets kidney from man she used to babysit

THOMASVILLE, N.C. — It’s been 15 years since 31-year-old Tonya Kuvshinikov and 22-year-old Andrew Hardy crossed paths. That is, until, Kuvshinikov’s plea for help was heard by Hardy.

Last year, Kuvshinikov found out she needed to have a kidney-pancreas transplant. Her life is on the line. She started asking for help from family and friends. Kuvshinikov’s mother, Diane, sent out an email to everyone she knew. A dozen people came forward to offer Kuvshinikov a kidney, but none of them were matches.

Hardy decided went to find out if he’d be a good candidate, he was a perfect match.

“It’s an opportunity to help someone,” he said. “She in my eyes helped take care of me as a kid and now I have the opportunity to help her and take care of her.”

Kuvshinikov was Hardy’s babysitter when he was younger. When Hardy found out he was a perfect match, he contacted her on Facebook to share the news.

Kuvshinikov has one of the two organs she needs for the kidney-pancreas transplant — she’s preparing to get on the list for the pancreas. Before she can officially be put on, she will have to meet certain health requirements to increase her odds of having a successful surgery. Her doctors tell her that after she gets on the list, it will most likely be a wait of three to five months. Her family says she’ll most likely have the surgery before the year is over.

The cost of the surgery is about $500,000. Her family has turned to fundraising. On Friday, June 12, there will be events for people to donate at. At 5 p.m. at Oak Hill Memorial Church, at 1793 Tower Road, there will be a wreath sale. The homemade objects are made by Kuvshinikov’s mother. Starting at 6:30 p.m. there will be a concert. A singer from Branson, Mo., Becki Mayes, has heard of Kuvshinikov’s story and will be performing in her honor. There is not a fee for the event, but Kuvshinikov and her family hope people will attend and make a donation.

People can also donate to Kuvshinikov’s GoFundMe account or by stopping at any Bank of North Carolina location.

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