CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – A couple from Canfield, Ohio who has been married 48 years made a life-saving decision. Last year, John Nicastro underwent a life saving surgery, all thanks to a choice made by his wife, Sharon Nicastro.
“I casually asked, ‘Could I donate?’ And they said, ‘Sure,’” Sharon said.
Sharon asked that question after her husband was already going to dialysis three times a week for a year. But John wasn’t living his fullest quality of life that way, until the couple learned about the “living donor program” at the Cleveland Clinic.
“I was willing to donate a kidney to someone who needed it. In return, my husband would receive a kidney from someone since we were not compatible,” Sharon said.
That’s essentially how the program works. On August 19, 2015 Sharon and John both underwent their surgeries, with John receiving a kidney from a living donor in Columbus and Sharon’s kidney going to a recipient in California.
“She really saved two lives because a person received the kidney and I, in turn, received. So two people are walking and living a much better life,” John said.
Life has positively changed over the past year for the Nicastro’s, being able to just pick up and go, spend time outdoors or cherish time with their three grandchildren. John said his energy level is better than it’s been in a long time.
“You don’t know how bad you were until you received your new kidney,” he said.
There’s a message the two of them want everyone to know, for people to get as much information as possible and to not be afraid to ask for a second opinion.
As for Sharon, she said the decision to do what she did wasn’t just about her husband, it was also about fulfilling her life’s purpose.
“If you know someone that needs a kidney and you have that within you to donate, go get checked,” she said.
“Even if you don’t know that person, it’s amazing how you can save somebody’s life,” John said.
Sharon said she’s been in contact with the person who received her kidney, and John plans to get in touch with his donor.