'That was a godsend:' Lifeguard donates kidney to best friend

Joe Curry, 24, was forced to go on dialysis, and no one in his family was a compatible donor candidate. He was saved by the selfless act of his friend.

Sep 7, 2023, 7:00 AM

Updated 263 days ago

Share:

A Robert Moses Beach lifeguard suffering from kidney failure was saved by the selfless act of one of his own.
Joe Curry, of Holbrook, says he has a rare genetic kidney disorder called Alport Syndrome. His kidneys stopped functioning around a year ago.
The 24-year-old was forced to go on dialysis, and no one in his family was a compatible donor candidate.
His best friend and fellow lifeguard Brandon Cullen, of West Islip, helped him ride out the hardest time in his life.
“He was out of commission, and it was really scary, and I wanted to have my friend back to normal,” Cullen says.
Cullen found out he was a perfect match for Curry and the two underwent surgery in March.
“For him to just volunteer like that, that was a godsend and I’m grateful,” Curry says.
If his friend did not donate a kidney, Curry could have faced years of dialysis and slim odds of receiving a new kidney.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, there are over 100,000 people on the wait list for a kidney, and 13 people die each day while waiting for a transplant.
Both lifeguards have made a full recovery and are back at the beach.
“I always consider him a brother – this certainly cements that,” Curry says. “And you know, if he’s in need of anything, I’ll always be there for him just like he was there for me.”
To learn more about organ donations, click here.


More from News 12