San Francisco

From Strangers to Life-Long Friends at Golden Gate Half-Marathon

A new lifetime friendship formed Sunday in the Bay Area over a life-saving kidney donation.

Two women who previously didn’t know each other ran the Golden Gate Half-Marathon in San Francisco to raise awareness. They crossed the finish line together with their hands up to signify a sweet victory and a new personal bond.

"I ran with a woman who was yesterday a stranger and today a part of my family because she gave a kidney to my husband 13 months ago," Lisa Emmott said.

Emmott ran the race with her brother and kidney donor Shannon Bousfield.

"She donated to help a friend of hers and then, through what's called a kidney chain organized by the National Kidney Registry, she kicked off a chain, which ultimately saved four people one of which was her friend that she donated for and also my husband," Emmott said about Boufield.

The Emmotts live in Florida, where family and then their daughter's teachers tried to help, offering to donate. But they could not find a perfect match until fate would provide one by way of the kidney chain.

"To have this incredible bond with somebody that you’ve never even met but you share something so incredible," Boufield said.

Emmott spoke about why they chose San Francisco as the backdrop for this emotional run.

"Today, the Golden Gate Bridge was nice and clear, but it's often known for being foggy, and you can't see the end of the bridge," she said. "But even if you can't see your destination, you have to keep going and put one foot in front of the other."

Emmott's husband has responded well to the donation.

"He’s doing great," she said. "Amazing."

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