13 Nov 2013 Giving Back in an Unusual Way
It’s rare to find someone willing and able to give up an organ to save your life. It’s even rarer when that person is your husband.
A&M-Commerce alumna, Tiffany Mathias Peek was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in 2010. She went in for a routine check-up to find that her kidneys were functioning at a mere 27%. At 25 years old, she had stage 4 kidney failure. She was put on a strict diet, and doctors told her that she would have to wait until the disease progressed to the fifth and final stage before they could do anything. After 3 years of waiting and testing in stage 4, her final test before treatment showed that her kidneys were functioning at only 10%. She then had two options before her: begin dialysis or receive a kidney transplant. Her family and friends immediately began to get tested. First up was her husband, Jaron, who is also alum.
Tiffany said they were actually upset when Jaron was tested because it wasn’t until his testing that they were informed that only one donor candidate could be evaluated at a time. Because neither of them thought he would be a match, and she had other potential donors that she knew would be compatible, they thought we had “wasted” precious time testing him.
“We never thought he would be a match,” said Tiffany. “But they came back and said we matched! If his kidney wouldn’t have worked, I would have started dialysis immediately until they did find a donor. This really was a miracle in every sense.”
The couple said a kidney transplant will normally take around a month to process all of the tests and paperwork, but the staff at Baylor All Saints in Fort Worth expedited the procedures in just a few days. On May 1, 2013, Jaron Peek gave his wife one of his kidneys without her having to undergo even one dialysis treatment. Six months later, Tiffany says his kidney is working like a charm. While she still has her own two kidneys, they do not function. In the last week of October, Tiffany went for a check-up and the kidney Jaron gave her is working at 89% by itself.
During their time in Commerce, Tiffany was a member of Alpha Phi Sorority, and Jaron was a Sigma Chi Fraternity member. They met briefly during Tiffany’s freshman year when they took a picture together, but the two didn’t begin dating until her junior year. They graduated together in December of 2007, and they were married in July of 2011. They now live and work in Dallas.