Selfless gift to friend goes above and beyond

A dynamic duo has life changing friendship

WILLOUGHBY, OH - A guy walks into a bar, turns to the guy next to him, and says "Can you spare a kidney?"

Maybe that's not exactly how it went, but this story of selflessness, and reconnecting friends, is even better.

Frank and Tony's Place is like Willoughby's version of CHEERS, where everybody knows their name.

"Those are the two boys that when they walk in the door everyone there knows them.  Everyone there loves them," says bartender Alicia Minello.

Side by side they stand, similar in stature.


Dom Valenti and Matt Digman sport similar features and facial hair.

"Everybody thinks we are brothers so we go with it," says Valenti.

But they had no idea, just how much like brothers they really are.

See Matt was born a preemie with kidneys not fully formed.

He spent four hours a day, three times a week hooked up to a dialysis machine that does what most of us take for granted.

He was waiting for a lifesaving kidney transplant.

Turns out Dom was a perfect match with 84% similar DNA even!

"They said they never saw a higher match without being blood related," says Digman.

In March Dom gave Digs the gift of life, a kidney, the ultimate gift that keeps on giving.

“I joke with him I owe you my life.  He’s like I didn't do anything and here we are so it's awesome," says Digman.

"We’re kinda stuck now,” laughs Valenti.

So the folks at Frank and Tony's set out to reward this good stuff with MORE good stuff raising money to send Digs n Dom on the trip of a lifetime to Costa Rica.

"Not just for Dom who has done something so very selfless but for Matt who is getting a second chance at life.  This is something that we wanted to do for them," says Minello.

"I feel very loved here for sure!” Valenti smiles ear to ear.

"I owe him my life,” says Digman.  “How do you repay that?  How much of a dollar figure? How much my life is worth? You can't measure it that way,” says Digman.

Valenti replies, “There's no measuring it.  It's done. It's a gift.  You don't pay back a gift."

Want to help send Dom and Digs on the trip of a lifetime?

Click here to donate!

 

© 2017 WKYC-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment