WSVN — Imagine finding the love of your life, and then both of you end up facing a life-threatening condition. 7’s Lynn Martinez shows us how this couple’s "Lifesaving Love" pulled them through.
Robin and Jeremy Kelter are the couple every couple wants to be.
Robin Kelter: "We met on J-Date. It was a very long date, but it was a good one."
A year later they were married.
Jeremy Kelter: "You know what you want, you find it, you know it."
What they wanted*was happily ever after. But this love story had a tragic twist.
Jeremy Kelter: "In the middle of 2011, Robin found out that she had failing kidneys."
Dialysis would keep her alive, but she needed a kidney transplant. Jeremy took her to treatments as they focused on getting her better.
But their love story would face another challenge.
Jeremy Kelter: "We were focused on her situation. All of a sudden, I have it. It’s crazy!"
Jeremy’s kidneys also started to fail.
Robin Kelter: "We’re just thinking, this is nuts."
Jeremy Kelter: "’Cause it didn’t run in our families."
Robin Kelter: "It just came out of the blue."
Doctors didn’t know why both Jeremy and Robin had kidney failure, but they did know both needed a kidney transplant.
Dr. Neerja Agrawal, Cleveland Clinic Florida: "There were 110,000 patients waiting to receive a kidney transplant. The list is growing each and every year."
They knew the odds of both getting new kidneys in time weren’t good.
Jeremy Kelter: "You live for years waiting for that phone to ring."
All they could do was put their names on a list at Cleveland Clinic Florida and wait, cherishing their time together even if most of it was spent in dialysis chairs.
Jeremy Kelter: "I don’t wish it on anyone, but it was nice to do it together."
They waited three years for the call. Jeremy’s came first. He asked for the kidney to be given to Robin.
Jeremy Kelter: "And it wasn’t just to get a better love life, either." (Robin laughs)
Robin Kelter: "I said, ‘Thank you, but you keep it. It’s for you.’"
After the transplant, Robin helped Jeremy recover, wondering if her call would ever come, worrying they would never have the chance to grow old together.
But just 10 days after Jeremy’s surgery, her call came.
Robin Kelter: "I just screamed!"
Jeremy Kelter: "Mind you, we’ve been waiting at least three years for this type of call. And all of a sudden, ‘boom, boom.’ There it is."
Even the doctors at Cleveland Clinic couldn’t believe it.
Dr. Neerja Agrawal: "It’s a coincidence, which was a beautiful coincidence. I think the support that they have for each other will also help with their transplant and their life afterwards."
Robin and Jeremy know they have faced bigger hurdles than most married couples. They believe, if their lifesaving love got them through this, it can get them through anything.
Robin Kelter: "I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side, for anything."
Jeremy Kelter: "We’re extremely blessed that we have each other."
Robin Kelter: (kisses Jeremy) "I love you."
Jeremy and Robin will have to be on anti-rejection medication for the rest of their lives, but they say that’s a small price to pay for their happily ever after. In the Newsplex, Lynn Martinez, 7News.
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Cleveland Clinic Florida