McCann Sheroes: Deirdre Virgie, Organ Donor
Truth Well Brewed will be profiling McCann “Sheroes” all month long in honor of Women’s History Month. This week, we are profiling SVP, Group Creative Director Deirdre Virgie for demonstrating incredible bravery and selflessness by donating an organ to her best friend.
Deirdre and Sheila have been best friends since the first grade. Growing up, they went through many milestones together: graduations, moves, marriage, kids, and many more. But the most challenging milestone was learning that Sheila had developed kidney disease.
About two years ago, while Sheila was visiting from Georgia, she found out that the disease had progressed much faster than anticipated, and it would only be about a year until her kidneys failed. She would need a kidney transplant soon before she went into dialysis. Over a few glasses of champagne that night, Deirdre offered to donate her kidney. Sheila initially turned her down, as her husband had already offered to go through the process. But something told Deirdre that she would be the one to donate the kidney. And she was right.
A few months later, she got this text from Sheila while driving: “Remember when you offered your kidney? I need it.” Deirdre had to pull over.
After getting herself together, Deirdre texted back: “Kidneys are like Ring Dings. One is all you need. The other one is supposed to be for your best friend.”
Deirdre went through six months of testing: numerous physicals, blood tests and psychological tests. The results were good: Deirdre was an exact 1:1 match with her friend, which is fairly uncommon. They moved forward quickly and scheduled the surgery just over one year ago.
The night before the surgery, Deirdre, Sheila, and both of their husbands went out to dinner. The next morning, they all went to the hospital together with their families. The surgeries were a complete success and the best friends convalesced in rooms right next to each other.
Today, both Deirdre and Sheila have fully functioning kidneys. Deirdre has no side effects, but gets regular blood tests and follows a few dietary rules.
“My best friend and I have always felt like sisters,” said Deirdre, “But now, it feels like we are real sisters since we share the same blood and organs.”
Deirdre is a major proponent of organ donation and feels that she made one of the best decisions of her life by helping her best friend in the world in her moment of need. We are so honored to share Deirdre’s incredible story. She is a true Shero!