Last April, 31-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins fan Kelly Sowatsky made her way to PPG Paints Arena garbed in black and yellow. Like many other fans in attendance, she brought along a homemade sign.
Although Sowatsky’s appealed to a lot more than her favorite team’s performance.
The sign read, “Calling All Hockey Fans! I Need a Kidney! Gratefully Yours, Kelly.”
And, it was a genuine plea for help.
Recognizing her real need for a kidney, the Penguins soon tweeted out an image of Sowatsky and her sign.
Shortly thereafter, fellow fan and fellow teacher Jeff Lynd reached out via Facebook. According to an interview with Good Morning America, Lynd saw desperation, yet courage, from someone who really needed his help.
Lynd was confident his blood-type was a match. And, after their initial meeting, it was determined that Lynd’s kidney was indeed compatible.
In mid-November, Sowatsky received life-saving surgery at UPMC Montefiore Hospital in Central Pittsburgh.
And despite a few Penguins losses around the time of surgery, Sowatsky and Lynd came out with a victory. They shared something deeper than an adoration for rooting for their favorite team, something deeper even than inspiring the youth.
They shared a timeless bond and a greater appreciation for life – on and off the ice.