PELLA, Iowa — When Scott Stephens’ health began to fail, his best friend stood by his side. As it turns out, his friend is helping to save his life.
Stephens and his best childhood friend, Aaron Eversaul, have always been close. They were born one week apart, were members of the same sporting teams and even worked for the same employers.
“I don`t know if he`s the hammer and I`m the nail or he`s the nail and I`m the hammer. I don`t know how that works out,” laughs Stephens.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, the two both moved to Iowa about three years ago, searching for a fresh start, or so they thought. Eversaul says, “You don`t know how much pain he`s going through until you watch it all.”
In 2008, Stephens’ kidneys began failing. His health nearly hit rock bottom about eight years later. He suffers from polycystic kidney disease, a genetic condition in which clusters of cysts from inside the kidneys prevent them from filtering properly. The search for a kidney donor started immediately and went nowhere fast.
“We did a Facebook post, talked to all the relatives hoping there was something there,” Stephens says. But Eversaul was all who was left.
“It got down to where I saw he didn`t have any more people left, so I was like let’s see if we match and we did,” Eversaul says while fighting back tears. He says helping out his friend was a no-brainer. He has been a registered donor for years. “To me, it’s important. If you can do something to help save someones life, do it,” he stresses.
The two are scheduled to undergo surgery in mid-March. According to the Iowa Donor Network, nearly 600 people are awaiting a organ transplant.