A Life-Changing Connection
Caroline Savor and Carrie Kay
Bashert. It’s not a word one expects a Catholic to use, but Caroline Savor says the Yiddish term for ‘destined’ best encompasses the circumstances that led her and Carrie Kay together for the moment when Carrie saved Caroline’s life. And their destiny unfolded in the halls of The Weinstein School at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.
Despite both growing up in Atlanta, living minutes away from each other, and training at the same pool as teens, the two never knowingly intersected until their infant daughters were both at The Weinstein School in 2019, and even then, they were casual acquaintances.
One serendipitous afternoon in May 2021, Carrie and Caroline were picking up their children from the preschool at the same time. Carrie could see Caroline was upset and offered her a hug, never expecting it would change their lives forever. Caroline burst into tears, sharing that what she really needed was a kidney, having just learned she was experiencing life-threatening kidney failure and needed a transplant. Carrie’s knee-jerk reaction? “Well then, I’ll give you mine.”
“If I say I am going to do something, I’m going to do it,” explains Carrie, a certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian. “All day, I talk my head off to patients with incurable diseases, but I can’t do anything to help them; this was something I could do to save someone’s life.” Her healthcare background provided an understanding of what was involved with kidney failure and “the thought of preventing Caroline from going on dialysis was a motivating factor,” Carrie shares. “I couldn’t imagine a young mom – an athlete – not being able to play with her kids or even tie their shoes. What sort of life is that?”
Thunderstruck, Caroline was appreciative but guarded. From her family’s history with polycystic kidney disease, she understood that finding a match could be a long, daunting process and she would require a donor with her same blood type. “The average wait for a donor in Georgia is seven years,” Caroline explains. “Without a transplant, life as my family and I knew it would be impossible to maintain.”
Only one potential donor can go through the extensive matching process at a time and Caroline notes, “the first person being a match is unheard of.” Astonishingly, Carrie was a perfect match and the transplant was successfully performed in January 2022. “I can’t begin to tell you how amazing Carrie is. She gave me life, and now, I’m doing things I never thought I could,” reveals Caroline, who completed a sprint triathlon in August with Carrie cheering her on. “I feel so much better than ever before.”
“From the second I said it, I knew it was going to happen,” Carrie asserts. “It really was bashert, completely meant to be. Without The Weinstein School, it wouldn’t have happened.”
It really was bashert, completely meant to be. Without The Weinstein School, it wouldn’t have happened.Carrie Kay