Human Interest Woman Receives Life-Saving Kidney Transplant from Unlikely Source: Her Blood Technician Jill Buckeye received a transplant from Jaylin Chadwell, her phlebotomy technician at Cleveland Clinic Twinsburg Family Health & Surgery Center By Jason Hahn Jason Hahn Jason Hahn is a Human Interest and Sports Reporter for PEOPLE. He's worked at PEOPLE's Los Angeles Bureau as a writer and reporter since 2017 and has interviewed the likes of Kobe Bryant, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Brady. He has a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University. He previously worked for Complex Magazine in New York City. People Editorial Guidelines Published on April 28, 2022 12:32 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos Photo: Cleveland Clinic Despite successfully managing diabetes for much of her life, Jill Buckeye started experiencing kidney failure in 2019 when she was in her early 60s. She needed a life-saving kidney transplant, and while many of her friends and loved ones volunteered to become a donor, none were a match. During this time, Buckeye made weekly visits to Cleveland Clinic Twinsburg Family Health & Surgery Center to have her blood drawn. She became friends with phlebotomy technician Jaylin Chadwell, who helped remove more than a dozen tubes of blood from Buckeye during her visits, something she noticed was far more than other patients at the clinic. "Most of the time, you draw three to five tubes [of blood] from a patient," Chadwell, 22, told the clinic. "When Jill would come in, it would be like 13 tubes every time," she recalled. "One day, I asked her, 'Why am I taking so much blood?'" For 2 Ga. Couples, a Transplant Created an Unbreakable Bond: 'We're the Kidney Warrior Family' Jill Buckeye and Jaylin Chadwell with Josh Augustine, MD, Mohammed Eltemamy, MD, and Alvin Wee, MD. Cleveland Clinic After listening to Buckeye's story, Chadwell soon realized they shared the same blood type. So, inspired by her grandfather who died of cancer years earlier, Chadwell told Buckeye she would volunteer herself as a donor. "I just knew I was going to be a donor someday. If I could do it and was medically cleared, I would do it," Chadwell told the clinic, adding that she knew as a child that she wanted to save a life one day. 24-Year-Old Man Finds Love and a New Kidney Through Tinder: 'Never Would've Expected That' According to the National Kidney Foundation, 13 people die each day while waiting for a kidney transplant, and over 3,000 others are added to the transplant list each month. The wait for a donor can be an arduous one for many on the list, but after undergoing a series of tests at Cleveland Clinic, doctors informed Buckeye and Chadwell that they were indeed a match. "At first, I thought she was 28, but she's the most mature 22-year-old I've ever met," Buckeye said of Chadwell. She continued: "And what person, at just age 12, thinks about being an organ donor? Jaylin amazes me." RELATED VIDEO: Meet This Young Man Who Needed a Heart Transplant & Found His Calling to Become a Heart Doctor The two recently underwent a successful operation, and Buckeye said she is now feeling better than ever thanks to Chadwell's selfless decision. "I'm doing very well. I have a super kidney from Jaylin," Buckeye said. "It's working wonderfully and will keep me forever young in heart and in kidney!"