SAN FRANCISCO - In the South Bay, a die-hard San Francisco Giants fan will forever be 'royal' thanks to a selfless gift from a Kansas City native. The two long-time friends are now recovering after a successful kidney transplant at Stanford Hospital and are now using their new outlook on life to help spread the importance of registering as an organ donor.
RELATED: San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain to retire
Santa Cruz resident, Kelly van den Berghe, has been living with PKD - polycystic kidney disease - for more than three decades. It's a genetic disease that causes cysts to grow uncontrollably in the kidneys.
As she faced kidney failure and possible dialysis, van den Berghe turned to social media last August to share her pain with the hope of finding a living donor. That's when Josh Harrold, a friend of van den Berghe for the past 15 years, decided to see if he'd be a match. It turned out to be the case, and as they say, the rest is history.
EXCLUSIVE: Die-hard Giants fan bleeds 'Royal blue' after kidney transplant from Kansas City fan
Harrold, who now lives in Orange County and works in experiential marketing and event management, is originally from the Kansas City area. With support from his wife, he worked with friends and family to come up with an elaborate plan to break the news to van den Berghe of the decision to donate a kidney.
RELATED: Young SF Giants fan doesn't let disability slow him down
Harrold got in touch with the San Francisco Giants and arranged for her to take part in a private tour of AT&T Park last November, but that was just the first part of the surprise.
Once van den Berghe got to the field, a message popped up on the big screen, saying "Kelly, I know you are a Giants fan... but you're about to have a Royals kidney!" She then realized what was happening as Harrold came into view and gave her a big hug. The Kansas City Royals also donated custom jerseys.
Flash forward to last week when the two were admitted into Stanford Hospital for the procedures. Doctors are so far calling it a success. Van den Berghe says she's already feeling better and hopes to be released by the end of the week. Harrold was discharged Wednesday and will head back to Orange County in a few days.
The two now say they feel like brother and sister after everything they've been through together.
Click here to learn more about the California organ registry.
Click here to join the living organ donor registry.