Jonathan Woodlief needed a kidney. Finding a match was proving to be quite dismal, until he met his wife, Caitlyn at seminary school in Dallas.
He was suffering from lupus and received his first kidney transplant from his mother at the age of 18. In a rare occurrence, the disease returned in the donated kidney and his health took a turn for the worse soon after he started dating Caitlyn.
"Dating was really difficult," Caitlin said. "You're trying to figure out how much to put your heart on the line, like any dating situation. But now I have to decide whether or not to go with him to chemo treatments. It's scary and intimidating dealing with a big disease."
Medical experts say it’s difficult to find a match for someone who has already had a transplant because the body has built up new antibodies.
Doctors told Jonathan that he would spend the next 15 years on dialysis until they were able to find such a unique and rare match.
Jonathan was even in the hospital when he met Caitlyn’s parents for the first time.
"That was humbling," he said, "me wanting to be a man who could provide and love her, and being insecure about my health."
Caitlyn recalls watching Jonathan’s health deteriorate.
"There were days that really take your breath away," Caitlin said, "when you think about the weight of the situation … just how sick he was."
During the tough times, she stayed strong by remembering that he would do the same for her.
One month after the Woodlief’s October wedding, Jonathan went on the transplant list. Caitlyn and some of the couple’s friends tested to see if they could be a match for Jonathan’s new kidney.
Unfortunately, each friend learned that they were not a match.
As the chances appeared even slimmer, the couple received the unexpected news that Caitlyn was indeed a match.
"It's like hitting the lottery," said transplant surgeon Dr. David Cronin. "Practically speaking," he said, patients like Jonathan have almost no chance of finding a matching donor.
After undergoing more tests, the couple went into surgery last Tuesday at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas.
The couple are both at home recuperating and planning exciting activities for their new future together.
"Swimming and jumping and running and playing basketball," is first on the list, Caitlin said.
Jonathan and Caitlyn are looking forward to starting a family together, something they thought they would never have the opportunity to experience.
"That was on the back burner until all this came together," the couple said.
The newlyweds finished seminary school. Jonathan would like to pursue ministry overseas while Caitlyn studied musical therapy and would like to incorporate it into her ministry.
"A lot of our story has been shaped by suffering," Jonathan said, "So we want to work with other people who are suffering."
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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