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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The story started back in March.

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Kelly Sowatsky’s kidneys were failing, so she held up a sign at a Pittsburgh Penguins’ game asking someone to be a donor.

Another Pens fan answered the call.

Jeff Lynd had a sign of his own, offering his slightly used kidney.

Kelly Sowatsky, Jeff Lynd

(Source: Julie Grant/KDKA)

The transplant, this fall, at UPMC Montefiore was a success.

“Jeff would disagree with you, but he is my hero for what he did. He always says, ‘No, I’m just a guy doing what I should be doing,’ and I have to disagree with him on that one,” said Sowatsky.

“I’m just a guy trying to help somebody who needed help,” says Lynd.

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Now that everyone’s feeling better, the Penguins decided to invite the pair to Thursday’s morning skate, and the opportunity to visit the locker room.

But that wasn’t all.

Sowatsky had also asked for a stick from one of her favorite players, Jake Guentzel. During her visit to PPG Paints Arena, that wish came true, too.

“That was so cool… I don’t even know,” she said. “These guys do this kind of stuff all the time, but I hope they understand what it meant to me.”


“It’s everything I thought it would be and more,” Lynd added. “The room, it’s amazing. You see it on TV for years, and you walk in here, and it’s like, ‘Oh, here it is.’ I don’t even know where to look; it’s overwhelming.”

Both also attended last night’s game and got to sit in the UPMC Box.

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Meanwhile, Sowatsky has given her new kidney a name. She calls it “Sidney,” as in “Sidney the Kidney.”