A Match Made on Tinder: Gay Newlywed Donates Kidney to His Husband

Thursday September 23, 2021
Originally published on September 23, 2021

Reid Alexander and Rafael Díaz
Reid Alexander and Rafael Díaz  (Source:GoFundMe)

Less than a year after meeting him on Tinder, Rafael Díaz gave Reid Alexander his heart at the wedding altar. Not long after that, he gave his beloved a kidney, as well, NBC News reports.

Reid Alexander and Rafael Díaz both moved to Denver from elsewhere — Alexander from Indiana, right after graduating college in Bloomington, and Díaz from Mexico. Alexander matched with Díaz on the popular dating app a week after his arrival in the Mile High City, and they met in a park in August of 2020.

Diagnosed at 17 with Alport syndrome, which gradually destroys the kidneys and can also affect hearing and vision, Alexander already knew that one day he would probably need a transplant in order to survive. Alexander disclosed his medical condition to Díaz early in their relationship, and Díaz volunteered to be tested as a potential donor, NBC News said.

Though touched by the offer, Alexander's response was, "You don't have to do that," Alexander recalled. "It felt like such a serious thing. 'You're giving me your organ.'"

The couple tied the knot last April. By then, his kidneys deteriorating, Alexander had started undergoing dialysis. His health worsened after their wedding, and that was when Díaz insisted on getting tested to see if his organs might be compatible.

"He really didn't want me to do it!" Díaz told NBC News. "He was like, 'No, no, you don't have to.' But I got tested anyway, and the doctors said we were a perfect match."

"On Aug. 13, almost exactly a year after that first date in the park, one of Díaz's kidneys was implanted in his husband," NBC News said.

"I never would've thought that I would move across the country and meet the love of my life, and then the love of my life would also be a perfect match, and I would get a kidney," Alexander told People Magazine. "Never would've expected that."

"It was meant to be," Díaz put in.

NBC News reported that, "On Monday, five weeks after his operation, Alexander said his new kidney is working well, and he and Díaz are on the mend," staying with Alexander's family in Indiana as they recuperate.

The procedure has left them unable to leave Indiana for several months, during which time they cannot work, the news report said. Adding to their concerns, anti-rejection drugs leave Alexander "susceptible to almost any infection, with COVID-19 only adding another layer of concern," NBC News detailed.

"We have to be super crazy about washing hands and avoiding exposure to things because I don't really have an immune system right now," Alexander explained.

Even in the midst of vulnerability and recovery, Díaz vowed to be there for his husband — in sickness and in health: "I took care of Reid before the surgery, and I will take care of this man for the rest of our lives."

A GoFundMe page has been established to help cover the couple's expenses.