Eldonna is a massage therapist who lives on the central coast of California. In 2007, she met a young woman at a local community college who was in the early stages of kidney disease. Inspired to learn more about the subject, “Ellie” chose this as the topic of a research paper in her English class. After spending time on the matching donors website where potential donors and recipients can meet, Ellie decided to find someone who was in need of her “spare” kidney. Perfect Strangers picks up her story from there.


Kathy lives with her husband Jim in northern California, 500 miles from Ellie’s home. She learned that she has Polycystic Kidney Disease when she experienced the early stages of kidney failure as a young woman. In 2007, she started dialysis and began to look for an altruistic donor after several friends who volunteered their kidneys were found to be a mismatch. Hoping to accelerate the seven years that she would spend on the national wait list for a kidney from a deceased donor, she posted her profile on matchingdonors.com