HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — For Debbie Lundberg, forming connections is her area of expertise.

What You Need To Know

  • Debbie Lundberg first connected with Debra Palmer at Chamber event

  • They will go into surgery Thursday at Tampa General Hospital

  • Learn about being a living donor

She’s the founder of Presenting Powerfully, a communications business in Tampa.

She first connected with Debra Palmer, a fellow business owner, at a Chamber of Commerce event.

“I knew who she was, loved connecting with her. But it was a, ‘Hello, hope you’re doing well’ outreach when we would see each other, and it wasn’t more than that,” said Lundberg.

Meanwhile Palmer, who owns Palmer Home and Business, has spent the last 24 years managing not only a business, but also a battle with stage four renal failure, landing her on the kidney transplant list.

“I’m tired, which is just a symptom of the kidney failure. And as time goes on, my levels continue to drop,” Sid Palmer.

Lundberg read about the battle on Facebook, and it was at that point, their connection became a bit stronger.

“I can’t really explain it and I’m a communication expert so you would think I would be able to. But that sensation that I think I’ll be able to do this was more, when are we going to do this? It was just meant to be,” said Lundberg.

After extensive testing, the call came.

“She may have called me that day and said, ‘Look the transplant center just called and said I’m a match!’ And I said, ‘Okay let’s go!’ I was very excited, the first time about it I broke down in tears,” said Palmer.

Debbie was going to save Debra’s life.

“If I’ve had these two kidneys for over 50 years and apparently it’s worked out really really well for me, if I could spare one and make a difference in somebody else’s life and lengthen it, I don’t know the reason not to,” said Lundberg.

On Thursday, the two go into surgery at Tampa General Hospital, and while Debra carries Debbie’s kidney, they’ll also be connected at heart.

“We’re very close and I believe we’ll be close for the rest of our lives, I hope so,” said Lundberg.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a living donor, visit  https://www.tgh.org/services/transplant