CHICAGO (WLS) --A story of hope is emerging from the shooting death of 11-year-old Takiya Holmes as her cousin, who is also a kidney disease advocate, received a desperately-needed kidney from the child.
Darvece Monson is one of eight people who received organs from Takiya, and she spoke exclusively with ABC 7 Eyewitness News just one day after her surgery.
Monson has mixed emotions about receiving this gift of life.
"It's up and down every other minute. For every 'thank you,' it's an 'I'm sorry.' For every 'this is a blessing,' it's a 'what a tragedy this is,'" she said.
Monson has been waiting for a kidney for nearly two years. She became an advocate for kidney disease awareness, who ABC7 profiled as part of our Chicago Proud series, while never knowing that her survival would mean the loss of a loved one.
"Whenever I go and speak, I claim this. I say this, that whatever you think of kidneys you think of me. But when it happens and somebody is grieving, and having to make funeral arrangements for their child, and they think of you... It's like, Lord, I did say that, I did claim that," Monson said.
And while she's grateful for her new lease on life, Monson said it's not just Takiya's life that was lost.
"Nobody won here, we all lost, and I see this guy, he's 19, and he's got this extensive juvenile record and I just lost it. I feel like we all failed him, we all lost here. It's just the promise of so many people and it gone -- this young man, all I saw was promise, and Takiya, all I saw was promise, and now I just see the fortifying of the greater good and the mission," she said.
She hopes the selflessness of Takiya and her family inspires others as it has her.
"I just hope that this family's selfless act enables others to see how much of a difference the world can be, and how far gratitude and selflessness can take you. From this moment forward I'm going to go even further, and I owe it to them and I'm just so grateful," Monson said.
Monson said the transplant is just the beginning; she has a long road of recovery ahead of her. Beyond that, she plans to continue her advocacy work with her non-profit when she's back on her feet.