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"Greater Love Las No One . . ."

01/01/2005 - Do you believe in miracles? Cathy Brown does. She doesn't just believe in them. She is living proof. Cathy's miracle came in the form of a woman named Kristi Price. The women met when they were both living in Gillette, but were more like aquantances than friends.

In 1994, Cathy and her husband, Norman, moved to Casper to pastor Casper Foursquare church. At that time, they had no idea that Kristi was living here. But, as fate would have it, Kristi turned out to be the worship leader of the very church they came to shepherd. Over the years, Cathy and Kristi became close friends.

In 2002, Krisi approached Cathy and Norman with some startling news. She told them she had a dream that she would give Cathy a kidney and was confident that it would come to pass. Diagnosed with diabetes at age twelve, Cathy had already suffered kidney failure in 1985. She was placed on dialysis, a treatment which rendered her legally blind. None of Cathy's family members were a close enough match for a kidney transplant. The kidney that saved her life came from a donor bank. This was a difficult time for Cathy, not only because of her illness, but because of the guilt she felt. A young man had died and given her the gift of life. After much praying, Cathy felt that God comforted her by letting her know that He does not take life away, God did not take the young man's life, but He can turn even sad circumstances into something good.

The doctors told Cathy there was nothing they could do to restore her vision, but Cathy would not give up. She visited Dr. Mooyoung at Seventh Day Adventist Hospital. Four surgeries later, Cathy could read, drive, and more.

When Kristi approached Cathy and Norman, though, Cathy was very healthy. She appreciated Kristi's willingness to help if the need ever arose, but hoped it never would.

One year later, Cathy's kidney failed -- again. Norman wanted to give one of his own kidney's to his wife, but he was simply not a close enough match. In fact, none of Cathy's family members were matches. As soon as Kristi heard about Cathy's condition, she said, "Let's go!" She was sure she would be the one to end up giving Cathy a kidney. Amazingly, Kristi was not only a match, but she was a better match than the doctors usually hope to find in family members! She closed the daycare she runs, and went with Cathy to the University of Colorado Medical Center in Denver.

With hospital and lodging bills to think about, and projected stays of one month for Cathy and one week for Kristi, money was certainly an object of concern, but it needn't have been. Norman and Cathy's church donated a large sum of money, and a one thousand dollar check arrived in the mail from a church that they did not even attend! A family friend worked at a hotel in Denver. She thought she could get rooms for the patients' family members at half the usual price. As it turned out, the manager's close friend had undergone a kidney transplant. The rooms were free for as long as they needed to stay.

However, they didn't have to stay long. Remarkably, both Kristi and Cathy were discharged from the hospital after only three days.

John 15:13, one of Cathy's favorite Bible verses, says, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

"Kristi gave me an amazing gift. She was willing to risk her life for me. I could never, just never in any way repay her for that or thank her enough. I'll never be able to," Cathy says, her voice wavering.

Since the transplant, Cathy has had perfect kidney function, and Kristi is in good health as well. "Praise the Lord!" Cathy rejoices. We agree, Cathy! Praise the Lord!

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