If you need a new kidney you could wait years before getting a transplant. But one local man is getting some unexpected and timely help from someone in his past.
Raul DeLeon and Terrie Randolph were childhood friends. They reunited just 10 years ago at the convenience where Terrie works in Troy.
"I was a police officer at the time and she walked in behind me and said 'stick em up,'" he said, "she looks exactly the way she did back in junior high!" Raul said.
They're close again now and one morning Raul came into the store and Terrie could tell something just wasn't right.
"I walked in here one day she said 'you look rough,'" he recalled, "I said 'I feel rougher inside.'"
His kidneys were failing. A wavy shape on his arm reveals where he undergoes dialysis three times a week.
Thinking of his two little girls (ages 5 and 8), Terrie did what so many would be too afraid to do: she got tested and found out she was a match. When she called Raul she said she was shaking and nervous. When she told him she was a match he didn't digest what she was saying.
"It dawned on me what she was telling me...then I said when I see you next time I'm gonna give you the biggest hug you've ever seen!"
While Terrie plans to support Raul, the community is supporting her. Sponsors have signed on for a benefit BBQ and her convenience store has been collecting donations. Terrie works two jobs and doesn't have medical insurance. Not only will she have to take 6-8 weeks off work, she won't have money to pay for any emergencies once the kidney is out.
"This is something for Bell county, for Texas and the whole world...if everyone would think like she's thinking, look how much better of a place it'd be," said store manager Jimmy Ashby.
Through it all, Terrie thinks of her father. Years ago he got a new liver.
"That's what keeps me going. We had our dad for a little bit longer," she said, "they need their dad (too)."
Raul and Terrie have high hopes for the surgery.
"When I open my eyes in the morning I just thank the good Lord I'm still here," he said.
"We can't worry about the what ifs right now...just worry about tomorrow and get through that way," she said.
They're putting above all else their faith and their lifelong friendship.