Kristi Lee Flick and Gail Duffy were virtual strangers before this past summer, but they are now forever connected in the most wonderful way. Kristi is a Closer for Colonial Title and Settlement Agency in Daleville, which is a family centric office. Her mother, Loretta Bourne is the Manager and Underwriter there as well. Unfortunately, Kristi was diagnosed with Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease in 2009 but was able to balance her care and continued to work full time. Her disease continued to progress and she was placed on the National Registry for a transplant four years ago. With the care of Loretta and their entire family, Kristi was able to receive at home dialysis four times a week. While this left her exhausted, she continued to work at Colonial Title and Settlement Agency throughout this entire ordeal. As you would expect, the entire family was tested to see if any of them were a positive match and able to donate a kidney, but sadly they were not. The family knew that dialysis was not a permanent solution and a positive match for a transplant needed to be found sooner rather than later. Kristi’s doctors suggested they reach out to the community to see if a possible match could be found that way. Several local TV stations and newspapers in the Roanoke Valley ran articles on her situation and encouraged anyone interested in being tested as a possible match to please contact the family.
Gail Duffy saw the news coverage and was moved by Kristi’s struggle to find a donor kidney. Gail is also a member of the title community. She is a Settlement Processor and Closer at Virginia Title Center in Roanoke. While Gail and Kristi had crossed paths once or twice by virtue of being in the same knitch industry, they were relative strangers. All that changed this summer when Gail reached out to Kristi and her family and indicated she wished to be tested in hopes of being a positive match and donating her kidney to Kristi. To everyone’s sheer delight, Gail was a match! After almost two years on home dialysis for 20 hours a week, the news of a positive match was the miracle Kristi and her family had been patiently waiting and hoping for.
In early September, the transplant took place and both women are recovering nicely. Loretta said when they were in the hospital days after the survey, the doctors would always find them in each other’s room – they were inseparable. They now refer to each other as kidney sisters and spend a great deal of time with one another. Theirs is a friendship and a bond that few ever have the opportunity to experience.
When the VLTA heard of this beautiful story of selfless giving among members of our title community, we knew we wanted to share this heartwarming story with our members. It is a wonderful example of the kindness and compassion that is present in our profession. Please join us in thanking Gail Duffy for her most selfless act of giving and in wishing both woman a speedy recovery.