Alana Duran didn't set out to find a kidney donor on Tinder, but that's exactly what happened.
She had been diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes a person's body to attack itself, at just 12-years-old and was waiting to find a kidney donor match for four years when she and Lori Interlicchio swiped right on each other in 2015. The two women met at Fire Island that summer and danced all day, Duran wrote in an essay on The Advocate. By the end of their first date, Duran was telling Interlicchio all about her experience being on dialysis and her search for a kidney match. Two dates later, Interlicchio was asking if she could get tested.
"I was taken aback because we didn't know each other very well yet, and even people with whom I had been friends for a long time hadn't offered," Duran wrote.
For the next month, as the women continued to date each other, Interlicchio secretly went through all of the tests needed to confirm or deny her ability to donate a kidney to Duran, including physicals, lab tests, and body scans. One night soon after the two had started officially dating, she surprised Duran with a box full of her favourite things and at the bottom of the box was a card styled like Tinder's homepage declaring, "It's a match!"
Thanks to their new fame, the women were approached by Gigantic! Productions, a video production service, about making a documentary of their story. They said yes, and were soon followed by film crews on their dates, at home with their families, and finally in the hospital as Interlicchio prepared to give her kidney to Duran.
"Lori was so selfless in her gift. Literally giving me a better chance at life is something I’m so thankful for," Duran wrote. "I'm not sure what I'd do without Lori and, come to think of it, without Tinder."
The film, named Bean after what Duran and Interlicchio decided to call their collective organ, is currently traveling in film festivals around the country. Check out Gigantic! to see if it's playing near you.
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