By Melanie Posey
GADSDEN, AL (WBRC) - If you ask Kelley Zeringue, she'll have no problem telling you. "I do believe in miracles. I do and this is living proof of that."
She's speaking of the life saving relationship between herself and 24-year-old Matt McCallum. Their story began when they met in May. Matt, who lived in Tennessee was going to work for the cheerleading company Kelley's husband co-owns in Gadsden. While at a staff retreat, Kelley noticed Matt's scarred arm and thought it was broken. She later learned he was on dialysis, waiting for a kidney.
"Before we even got home that night in the car, I told my husband...I think I'm a match," Zeringue recalls. " And I just knew. I t was amazing."
The next morning, without Matt's knowledge, she called his doctors in Tennessee. They immediately warned her that being a match was a long shot.
"But I called them and they let me do the first test and they called and said, that was a match. And I said 'I know'." Matt, on the other hand, was a match.
"I almost feel like I don't deserve someone to sacrifice for me," McCallum said from Tennessee. "I'm a normal guy, nothing special...and that's a lot to give up for someone you don't know."
Matt's kidney problems began when he was seven. By the time he reached 21, his kidneys had failed. He was a newlywed who was going to dialysis three times a week, working three part time jobs and praying for a miracle. Kelley, he says, was just that.
After four months of tests, they learned Kelley was a perfect match. Now, two weeks after surgery, both are recovering just fine. Matt says he looks forward to buying a house, having kids. Kelley is humbled that she could help.
"It's a blessing. It's a true reward to know you followed through and because of that, someone's going to be able to live a normal life," Kelley says. "God's blessing me so much more in giving me that opportunity."