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Elk County woman surprises old friend with new liver on donor day

MT. JEWETT - An Elk County woman surprised an old friend with the gift of a lifetime on Tuesday: a new liver.

Toni Pearson, 67, of Mt. Jewett, said she suffers from a genetic fatty liver disease called NASH.

She's been in need of a liver transplant, so she posted on Facebook asking if anyone knew someone with her blood type.

"I put a blurb on Facebook and asked if anyone out there had O positive or negative blood and would be willing to do the testing," Toni said.

Sally Peterson, 49, of James City, is an old friend of Pearson's. When she was 16, she worked with Toni at the Quality Markets grocery store in Kane as a cashier.

Sally said she saw the post and was encouraged by tests she had taken previously to become a bone marrow donor after her mother died of bone cancer.

Sally took tests in February to see if she was a match for the liver transplant Toni needed. She found out she was a match on Tuesday.

"I can't tell you why I did it," Sally said. "It just felt like the right thing to do. I never second guessed it, and I'm still not second guessing it."

The women will travel to UPMC Montefiore on March 13 for their surgeries.

A benefit spaghetti dinner will be held on March 11 at the Mt. Jewett volunteer fire department to help cover their medical expenses.

To become an organ donor in 30 seconds, click here.


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