ATHENS, Ga. - An Athens Chick-fil-A manager is finally getting a new kidney after months of searching for a donor.
Shelley Kurasaka, 39, was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease, which is a genetic disease in which cysts grow on the kidneys and eventually cause them to fail. In January, she said she would need dialysis as her kidney function continued to drop.
The Snellville native moved to Athens two years ago when she was offered a position as a manager at the Chick-fil-A on Epps Bridge Parkway. That’s how FOX 5 first learned about Kurasaka’s story. Some of her coworkers took to social media and shared a post pleading for prayers and a kidney donor on the restaurant's Facebook page.
Kurasaka said since last May, there has been a significant decline in her kidney function.
“I have placed my future in God’s hands and trust that He will lead someone to come forward and graciously provide this gift of life,” she said a few months back.
Kurasaka recently learned she will get a new kidney next month, on May 26, after a family friend stepped up and offered to be her donor.
This will hopefully allow Kurasaka to continue doing what she loves, leading an active and involved life with her family and friends.
“I want to continue my great career at Chick-fil-A in Athens,” she said. “I also believe that God has called me to be a good steward and to serve others. I am involved with the local food bank because it is dear to my heart and I want to continue serving as God leads.”
In January, Kurasaka and her fellow coworkers gathered at Chick-fil-A and took photos with Georgia-based photographer Brandy Angel, who started Be the Change -- Brandy Angel Foundation. Angel helps those in need by sharing their images and stories with the world through social media.
Owner and Operator of the Epps Bridge Chick-fil-A John Collette said Shelley is a joy to work with because she understands that every life has a story. He said having that perspective allows her in the midst of her own personal challenging story to remain steadfast and constant, treating everyone she encounters with honor, dignity and respect.
"Shelley truly has a servant's heart," said Collette. "She deserves the opportunity to add many more quality chapters to her and others' life stories."