My name is Stephanie Blumenthal. When my creatinine started to go way up, my family and I began our search for a kidney. Some friends came forward and offered to be a donor, others included my need at the bottom of their email. My husband was friends with a journalist who published it on their website.

I’m from Massachusetts and picked New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell as my hospital for the transplant. Jesse, a postal worker from West Virginia, was driving through New York when he saw my request and decided to respond. In January 2020, he was tested and was declared a match. The operation was delayed until July because of the pandemic. A year-and-a-half ago, Jesse became my kidney donor.

Jesse is my hero. I often remind myself of what he once said to me, “if I can help someone, I will try to.”