Miami woman will get life-saving transplant thanks to stranger

Betty DiMartini agreed to donate kidney after reading ad on Craiglist

By Bob Norman - Investigative Reporter

MIAMI - Vivian Fried had never met her before, but she already knew Betty DiMartini was going to save her life.

"She's going to save me. This beautiful person, I don't even know," Fried said.

DiMartini, a mother of three from Miami, volunteered to give Fried, a total stranger, a kidney. On Tuesday morning, doctors will perform the transplant at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

"You’re going to be OK," DiMartini said.

Fried, a former model from Miami, took pills to lose weight that have left her on dialysis and waiting for a kidney transplant after hers shut down four years ago.

"I'm going to make sure that nobody does what I did -- kill myself with diet pills and laxatives and diuretics just to look good," Fried said. "Fifteen-inch needles go in there every single day to clean my blood and to take the toxins out of the water. I haven't gone to the bathroom to pee for three whole years. It's not worth it."

DiMartini knew Fried's pain all too well. Her beloved aunt went through the same thing, but passed away before she could donate one of her kidneys.

"I think you have to live it; you have to see the pain of the other person and understand it," DiMartini said.

She was determined to help someone and found Fried's plea on the internet.

"I really was looking for it and I decided to go on craigslist," DiMartini said.

The ad was placed by a website called kidneymitzvah.com, which Fried's husband, Jim, had found.

DiMartini said her only fear is pain from the operation.

"For the first week, I know it’s going to be very very painful. But then it's all going to be worth it because she's going to have a new life," DiMartini said.

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