Hundreds of thousands of people are affected by kidney disease in the commonwealth alone. Thousands will die with their name left on a list waiting for a donor, but thanks to one Charlottesville pastor, another pastor is able to take his name off that list.
"I was just waiting for the match to come and he rescued me," said William Love, who received a kidney from his son-in-law, Chris Fitzwater, back in September.
"It's something that when you're given the opportunity to do it, no one questions you if you should because of the impact you can have on someone else's life," said Fitzwater.
A message that the two pastors now share with their congregation at Lighthouse Worship in Charlottesville - the gift of life - a bond that's deeper than even a family tie.
"If you only knew what the person feels whenever that takes place, it's a very warm feeling that someone has gave you part of them, changed your life, enabling you to do more," said Love.
Saturday, the duo joined more than 100 people from around Charlottesville at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion for the Charlottesville Kidney Walk, to walk for kidney research, awareness and share their faith.
"People have said to me 'If God gave you two kidneys you need them and you need to keep them.' And I said 'No, God gave you two kidneys so you could bless someone with them,'" said Love.
Before the transplant, Love was seeing the things he held dear fall through the cracks of dialysis. "I wouldn't be comfortable myself watching my father in law or anyone else for that matter deteriorate, go through the process of dialysis and eventually watch them die because I didn't step up whenever I could and help," said Fitzwater.
Now Fitzwater, with his father-in-law by his side, is taking "steps" with the rest of this weekend's walkers to raise awareness that through organ donation, anyone has the power to change someone else's life.
"We just need donors to come out, it will be the greatest story of your life..the greatest story of your life," said Love.
Saturday's kidney walk raised more than $30,000 for the National Kidney Foundation.
Charlottesville Pastor Given the Gift of LifeMore>>