Liz Kelly

[cnn-photo-caption image=

caption=”Liz Kelly, 29, donated her kidney to her fiancé when he became seriously ill.”]
In light of Valentine’s Day, our team thought it was only fitting that we introduce you to a young person who loves. Liz Kelly met her fiancé, Matt, almost nine years ago working at a clothing store. They fell fast in love.

In October of 2007, Matt became very sick. Doctors eventually determined that he had congestive heart failure they attributed to bad kidney function. He needed a donor. Liz wanted to get him to the top of the list by donating her own kidney to someone, never thinking they would be a match.

Liz, 29, remembers when she heard they were, in fact, a match. “I said, ‘Of course we are. How could we not be a match?’” Her doctors told her she had a big kidney for her size, perfect for Matt. Maybe it was always meant for him. Maybe it was meant that they share a kidney and a heart.

They hope to get married this summer, when they are both done recovering.

Update: Watch the Live interview

This entry was posted in Unsung hero. Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Liz Kelly

  1. Steve says:

    Liz, honestly u’re a genuise.

  2. Mrs. Weber's Current Events Class says:

    We have two questions; one for Matt and one for Liz:

    Liz – What was going through your mind when the doctor told you that your kidney would be a match?

    Matt – Would you have done the same thing for Liz?

    Thank you!

  3. Mrs. Weber's Current Events Class says:

    We have two questions:

    Liz – What was going through your mind when the doctor said you were a match for Matt?

    Matt – Would you have done the same thing for Liz?

    Thank you,
    7th grade Current Events Class

  4. pat says:

    When is Nichole Lapin going to feature herself on this little Young People Who Rock thing? I’m surprised she hasn’t done it already – she clearly thinks she rocks quite a bit.

  5. elliott says:

    Liz…..YOU ROCK!!

  6. KC says:

    That is so cute! =)
    Liz-Your awesome, brave, and sweet!!!!
    Matt-You’re very lucky ;]
    and to both I hope you have a great marraige!!!!

  7. Peggy says:

    Definitely a match made in HEAVEN………..God has blessed both of you…..

  8. Chris says:

    Awesome story!

  9. Donna says:

    Hi Liz ~
    How wonderful to be able to gift the ultimate gift of love! I too gave a kidney away almost 4 years ago….my stepfather had been on dialysis for 2 years & needed a transplant, so both my husband & I agreed to go in to see if either one of us would be a match – luckily I was! It is the BEST feeling in the world to be able to do this for someone. The funny thing is, I had a hand in getting my mother together with her husband over 20 years ago…my mom thinks that I was destined to be his donor, long before he ever got sick…

    God Bless you & Matt! (oh, & Happy Valentines Day too!)

    Donna H. St Paul, MN

  10. A fan says:

    Liz you are my hero.

  11. kyle dittmann says:

    that is very exciting i dont think i could do that for my fiance but on second thought i think i could. but congrats to ypu for doing that.

  12. Pingback: Valentines Day Special:Liz Kelly, Donated her kidney to her fiancé | Girl Opinion

  13. Morgan says:

    That was really sweet of her to do that..
    ♥ Morgan

  14. nicolelapin says:

    Thanks so much for the great comments! If you have time…put your questions on video for us to use on Friday–

  15. David says:

    Id be lucky to have a girlfriend share a dessert let alone internal organs with me

  16. AJ says:

    Incredible story…all the best to you both.

  17. Breann says:

    How did it feel did it hurt?

  18. Wee Rousseau says:

    That’s amazing! Thank goodness for people like you, Liz – I hope you two have a long and happy life together!

  19. Jacob says:

    Liz- had you ever had any surgeries before this one? If not, how sis you prepare yourself?

  20. Jacob says:

    I meant to type “how did you prepare yourself”

  21. Tate says:

    Liz- You are the bravest Auntie and I love you very much. Happy Valentine’s Day, you are pretty.

  22. DANA says:

    That is a great story. Talk about true love!

  23. emmy says:

    this is the sweetest thing i have ever heard. this is true love. you guys are soul mates! I wish you nothing but happiness!! MATT she is a keeper dont let her slip away!!

  24. mabry barrett says:

    Hello Liz!!!
    It’s been too long since I’ve seen you. (Since Ware High School)
    I think that’s it great, you are able to help the one you love in a time of need. I hope the very best to you and Matt!!!!
    Mabry Barrett

  25. Jim says:

    That’s really awesome!!! You guys rock!!!!

  26. Alyssa says:

    Liz that is the sweetest thing ever! and you must really love matt to go throught with that! I do have one question for you though
    1. was there ever a doubt in your mind after you were told you were a match of goin through with the surgery?

  27. Ed says:

    This is one of the most inspirational love stories I’ve ever seen. I’m a high end wedding and portrait photographer based in Atlanta and I’d be honored to photograph their wedding free of charge.

    CNN moderators, I don’t want to “advertise” on the blog so feel free to not post this comment but if they are interested I could be contacted at the e-mail entered with this post or through my website which is

  28. Sardar M Kamran Khan Saddozai says:

    After reading about Lizz and her fiance I beleive that real love still exists in this world as a matter of fact we are living in a time where everybody is worried for his own life but Lizz proved herself a real lover and I would like to congratulate her fiance that he is one of the luckiets people in this world.
    I just know onething love is a beautiful thing if you are lucky enough to find it.

  29. Lau says:

    I don’t want to ask anything. Just wish you many years of good health to enjoy life. I didn’t give any of my organs, but I did sign to donate when I’m gone. Everyone SHOULD donate!!!!

  30. Meghan says:

    I have a question for Matt: Were you ever scared that maybe your body might reject Liz’s kidney or were you always confident that the surgery would be a success? Also, how has your recovery been going so far?

    This is such an amazing love story. May you have a long and happy life together!

  31. Janet McWhorter says:

    Now that is unconditional Love… A great Valentine’s Day story.

  32. Mom says:

    I was blessed with a daughter who is not only beautiful inside and out, but one who has such a big heart and in the name of Love never doubted that this was a path in Life she must choose. To be so caring, brave, and committed to Matt becoming healthy was never an issue with Liz. What a beautiful Love Story, they should have a follow-up every year on Valentines Day! Lizzie I Love You and am so proud of what you did for Matt. I can’t wait for your wedding!

  33. Mom says:

    Liz how has this operation changed you and Matt’s Life? Any advise for anyone looking into Living Organ Donations? Ever think of being Spoke persons for the National Kidney Society ? You and Matt would be a great representation and bring a great awareness of a problem that young people need to address.

  34. Frank (Matt's Dad) says:

    Liz, I will be grateful for your remarkable generosity and kindness
    for the rest of my life. I was concerned about Matt’s declining
    health for some time but felt powerless to be of real help. I look
    forward very much to full recovery–and a lifetime of happiness–
    for both of you. May you both relish these wonderful moments

  35. Amaby says:

    Fist of all, I’d like to thank cnn for its fine program,I didn’t participate before ,I found this site few days ago wich means i’m still new. I’m really very glad to see such program.Liz it was my pleasure tn read ur amazing story. my words can’t express my feelings to what you’ve done .I wish u both all the best and God bless u .In all your life..Congratulation!

  36. terry stuart says:

    You’re an inspiring light on the hill and have opened my heart. Your loving gift is the kind of selflessness that buries the growing mass of social and economic rubble we’re living in. As a friend of a friend of Matt’s father I’m honored to be 2 degrees away from you. I wish you both a loving and healthy life together. Love, terry
    “As one light lights another, so nobleness kindles nobleness. “

  37. Frank (Matt's Dad) says:

    Liz, I will always be grateful to you for the love and generosity you
    have shown Matt. I have been concerned about his health for some
    time, but felt quite powerless–the difference you have made in his
    life is enormous. I pray you both will live happy and fulfilling lives
    from this time forward, and that your compassion will inspire others.

  38. S Callahan says:

    I love this story…it really shows how God has made a kindred spirit for each person on this earth…..this is your soul mate….what a gift to discover it emotionally….and then have it wraped by having a perfect match in kidney.

    I vote for you two…
    ps….don’t wait until September….tie the knot now..and make sure you post the wedding on ireport! Blessings to you.

  39. Janet Kelly says:

    Hi Lizzie! I tear up every time I see your story. I am so happy that you have found true love and I wish you two the best from the bottom of my heart.

    Love you and miss you very much,
    Your Cuz, Janet

  40. Gilles Vaillancourt says:

    Dear Liz

    You are an angel; 4 years ago, my wife donated a kidney to ease my pain and take me off of dialysis. My life was changed forever, there are no words to express my gratitude to my wife and all the special people that donate. I wish both of you the very best.


  41. Michelle says:


  42. Papa & Nicole says:

    Dear Liz,
    We are so bless to have such a loving grand-daughter. You and Matt
    are definitely the greatest love story. You are inspiring all of us.
    We wish you a lot of happyness and a long life together fill with Love.

    May God bless both of you,

    With all our Love

  43. Elaine says:

    I donated my kidney to my fiance as well 5 years ago. It takes a special person to do something like that, and it is a wonderful feeling to be able to help out loved ones.

  44. Luann says:

    Dear Liz and Matt,
    Your love story is beautiful! Seven weeks ago my husband received my kidney. Reading your story and seeing the picture of the 2 of you side by side in the hospital room was precious. We also were roommates. What a special bond you will always have. You certainly have a wonderful, special, and unique love story to share! You are proof that you love each other with all your “kidney”!

  45. angel says:

    i dont think i would do something like that cuz it’s just not right maybe for her it was though

  46. angel says:

    she has a heart made of love and i guess that’s what he loves about her

  47. Veer says:

    Liz, You are divine..just like love is divine.
    Matt, You are an absolute lucky guy..Not only did u survive the illness with your loved one, you found the unconditional love, which is very very very hard to find in this world today.. a love which can only be comparable to that of mothers love for his child. I wish all the best & bright future for your family (Matt & Liz)

  48. Young Kim says:

    All I can say is… WOW!

  49. Oso Oluwafemi & Temitope Raji says:

    I luv your story and I pray that God Almighty shall cover your family with the blood of Jesus Christ. God bless you.

  50. Della Hinds says:

    I think that you guys should get marry sooner rather than September ,time is precious and it seems asthough you too have found something and someone special

  51. roxy says:

    This is a really sweet story. I wish them luck in the future and hope that they dont oversea any more bad things. That is a lot for someone to sacrifice for a loved one. Many people are in love and love someone but they might not do it, especially a women! Way to go! That’s how you know you really have someone by your side. 🙂

  52. Crystal says:

    Dear Liz, after reading your story about you and matt, you to my eyes are a hero….event though i’m young to be thinking in love, i’ve realized that falling in love is the best thing that could ever happened to you. I wish all the best for you and matt in the future. take care =]

  53. Preeshea Washington says:

    So cool…

  54. Hadassah says:

    Amazing…. You are so brave! Matt- Never let her go! Liz- YOU Rock!!!

  55. Anny says:

    That’s incredible i once had that type of love until i lost it… am glad to c others are able to keep their loved ones by them and not be ignorant as I all the luck to you

  56. izabel says:

    liz ur a brave woman i think i would have done that but i will be really scared because im scared of surgery. and thats a sweet thing of you to do for the one u love! =)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s