COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Andrea Hardwick loves spending time outside.
"It's very peaceful out here," she said as she stood in her front yard. "I feel very close to God out here."
It's a feeling that almost came to an end with the death of her mother.
"I was sitting there after she passed and I had to decide what I was going to do because I wanted to commit suicide," she said.
A few minutes later a song came on that kept her from taking her life and instead giving it to God.
"The song was powerful and it just hit me and it’s almost like the holy spirit went through my body," she said.
Hardwick doesn't remember what the song was but says she knew at that moment her life had a bigger purpose, a purpose made clear one day when she was at work.
"I heard a coworker speaking about his wife needing a kidney," she said. "A couple of days later I woke up and God had put it in my heart to give this woman a kidney."
Turned out she was not a match.
"They told me I was a blood match with her but I was not an antibody match with her and it really broke my heart because I wanted to do this for her," said Hardwick.
But she was a match for someone else, someone she didn't even know.
"The only thing I knew about the person is they live in the Rocky Mountain area which is pretty big," she said.
But knowing who it is isn't as important as knowing that by saving her own life, she saved someone else's.
"I’m hoping the person who got my kidney is living this life that he wasn’t or she wasn’t able to live and has this bucket list and they’re just doing whatever it is that they couldn’t do before and that they’re just living their life to the fullest," she said.
There are several ways to sign up to be an organ donor. You can sign up to be a living donor, like Hardwick, where you would donate a kidney or part of the liver, lung, intestine, or pancreas to another person in need of a transplant. Click here for more information.
You can also sign up to be a donor at the time of your death. Colorado residents can sign up when applying for or renewing a driver's license or ID card. Click here for more information.
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