Franklin man receives kidney donation from rock climber friend - WSMV News 4

Franklin man receives kidney donation from rock climber friend

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Will Reynolds, L, donated a kidney to his friend Ben Rankin. (WSMV) Will Reynolds, L, donated a kidney to his friend Ben Rankin. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Two men who met while rock climbing in Franklin are taking the term “bromance” to new heights.

Ben Rankin and Will Reynolds met as 16-year-olds in 2009, just around the same time Rankin found out his kidneys were failing.

Rankin found out about two years ago he’d need a kidney transplant. He was put on the donor list, but also took matters into his own hands. He asked everyone he knew if they were a match to be a living donor.

“I think I had 30 people signed up, which was amazing in and of itself,” Rankin said.

“There was no doubt in my mind I was going to get tested for this,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds got tested and was a match.

“We were climbing at the gym and Will asked me how the process was going of finding donors. I was explaining the tests they go through. As I was finishing up, he finished my sentence and he knew what I was going to say. And I asked how he knew, and he said, ‘Because it’s me.’ And I was speechless, gave him a big hug and said, ‘Thank you,’” Rankin said.

The transplant happened Tuesday. The function in Rankin’s left kidney went from 13 percent before the transplant to 60 percent less than 24 hours later.

“It’s a gift to me to be able to provide a healthy future for a friend. Everything fell into place the way it should,” Reynolds said.

“It’s such a huge gift of hope and life. And I asked Will, ‘I don’t know how I’m ever going to thank you.’ And he said, ‘Keep on climbing, keep on living,’” Rankin said.

Rankin and his fiancee Lauren are now engaged and planning their wedding.

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