DURHAM --Jason Diacumski has spent years helping and caring for patients as a nurse at Duke University Hospital. He recently took a leave of absence after becoming too weak to work. The 35-year-old now spends much of his week receiving dialysis.
He has been battling a kidney disease and is in dire need of an organ transplant.
"(It's been) super depressing, very depressing," said Diacumski of his dialysis treatments. "It's frustrating too because mentally you're strong, you have the want to do stuff, but physically you're drained."
Doctors told Diacumski he could wait up to seven years for a donation. That's when his wife, Nichole, stepped in to get tested and learned she was a perfect match.
"It's like winning the lottery," he said. "It almost felt too good to be true. It really did. I was nervous to get excited."
It is incredibly rare for a spouse to be a match. The chance is less than 1 percent.
The National Kidney Foundation says there are more than 100,000 people across the country waiting for an organ. Every day, 12 people die waiting for a donor.
"We thought we'd have more time, but we don't. I'm just so glad I can do this for him," Nichole Diacumski said.
The couple met while serving in the armed forces; they've supported each other and took turns putting the other through college.
Diacumski says when they married all those years ago as kids, then just 19 and 20-years-old, he knew they were a great match, but he had no idea just how perfect the pairing would later be.
"It's just amazing. I mean the chances that we married and her becoming a match is slim to none. It's amazing. I can't thank her enough," he said.
The surgeries will be performed at Duke University Hospital. Diacumski, as well as his wife, both work at as nurses there.
The transplant is scheduled in two weeks. It will happen near the couple's wedding anniversary. They'll be celebrating 15 years together.
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