Kidney recipient running the Beach to Beacon with his donor

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A man who received a lifesaving kidney transplant almost a year ago is running the 2014 Beach to Beacon 10K alongside the woman who saved his life.

Daavid Swift was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease in 2011 and was on dialysis within a year.

While his condition worsened, there was someone taking steps toward saving his life.

Patty Blankenship underwent the matching process, and then made a call to her former colleague, Daavid's mom.

"And I said, I have something for Daavid. She said, 'Patty you don't have to do that. You don't have to get him anything.' And I said, 'I do. It's a kidney,'" said Blankenship. "And it felt so good to do that."

Patty's only request was that she be in top physical condition before giving her kidney to Daavid. A week before the surgery, Patty ran the 2013 TD Beach to Beacon.

Swift said, "I was there cheering her on with my family."

This year, they're running it together.

"Her name is Blankenship and my name's Swift. So we're Blankenswift," Swift said.

Team Blankenswift will take on the 10K with members of each of their families.

"I want to give hope to people who are struggling with kidney disease to look at Daavid and see how well he's doing," Blankenship said. "He owes me nothing. Absolutely nothing... It felt like more a gift to me in some ways."

Swift said, "I am forever grateful. And the only thing I can do is live my life to fullest and the healthiest so I can extend the longevity of the that gift that you gave me."

The National Kidney Foundation encourages people to become living donors. A kidney from a living donor usually functions immediately, while some deceased donor kidneys may not. 85% of all people in need of an organ transplant are awaiting a kidney.

Team Blakenswift plans to start and finish the race together.

The 17th TD Beach to Beacon begins Saturday morning at 8 a.m.

NEWS CENTER will be streaming the race live on


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