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Local man receives generous ‘pay it forward’ donation for kidney transplant

By Mary Boyle

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    REXBURG, Idaho ( — A Rexburg man’s tough road has been made easier by a surprise donation from a good Samaritan.

In 2019, Wesly “Two Eagles” Wright was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. He was 37.

Wright told that the diagnosis was quite a blow.

“They said, ‘You have less than 12 months to live if you don’t do dialysis,’” he said.

Even though it was “no fun,” he was determined to make the best of it.

“I’ve survived a lot of things in my life,” he said. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 17 years old, after being in a diabetic coma for six days.

Wright started undergoing dialysis three times a week. Each session takes four and a half hours. A small-business owner, Wright had to cut back on his work hours. It wasn’t long before he couldn’t work at all.

He has been approved for a kidney transplant, and although his insurance is covering the bulk of his costs, the transplant center recommended he have $5,000 to $10,000 on hand for his recovery time. He was $2,500 short. That’s when he took to social media.

“There may be more expenses down the line, but for right now … I only need what I am asking for,” he posted.

The community responded, Wright said.

“Within 24 hours, I’d made over $700.”

And then, something unexpected happened. A donation of $2,500 came through.

“I thought maybe it was a mistake,” Wright recalled. “Maybe he just meant to donate $25.”

Wright was able to track down the anonymous donor, who happened to be a young Brigham Young University-Idaho student. He expected to hear that the young man had made a typing error and put a comma instead of a decimal.

It wasn’t a mistake.

“He told me that when he was younger, his father was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure.” The family didn’t have the money for a transplant. A company in Rexburg donated the money for the dad’s transplant, “and his father’s still doing great to this day.”

The donation, he told Wright, was his family’s way to give back.

“It was a real ‘pay it forward’ moment for them,” he said.

Wright said he could get a kidney any day. Until he gets that call, he continues to live his life the best he can.

“I hope for the best,” Wright said. “Sometimes, I plan for the worst, but whatever comes my way, as far as trials or tribulations … I’m very optimistic. I always look on the bright side of things.”

Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.

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