Hunting helped save Gil Alexander’s life.
It all started in 2008 when the Kansas farmer struck up a friendship with Rob Robinson, a 45-year-old firefighter from Mississippi who wanted to hunt on his property, the Associated Press reports.
A few years later, Robinson returned again to the property to hunt, but at the same time he learned that Alexander was gravely ill and needed a kidney transplant. What Robinson did then was kind of unprecedented. Still new friends—Alexander eventually started inviting Robinson into his home, and every now and again they’d catch baseball games together—Robinson went back home to Mississippi and got tested.
As it turns out, he was a closer match to Alexander than if they’d been brothers, AP notes.
“He texted me and said, ‘I’m a match,’ ” Alexander told the news wire. “I put down the phone and started to cry.”
“I never thought I would be an organ donor, let alone a living one,” Robinson added, joking that his kidney wasn’t part of the deal that allowed him to hunt.
In November 2012 the men went to a football game together before their trip to the hospital the next day. The surgery was successful, allowing Alexander to be free of dialysis and continue farming his expansive land. But it also sparked something much bigger than the two men’s friendship, AP reported.
The two men eventually started working together and founded Forever Outdoors, hoping to bring a great hunting and nature experience to wounded veterans and children, among others. They even met with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback about their initiative, AP said.
Read more at the Associated Press.