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March 26, 2019

North Carolina woman repays adoptive dad by giving him her kidney

March 15, 2019
DeLauren McKnight, right, will soon donate her kidney to her adoptive father, Billy Houze (left), after tests revealed she was a match for the procedure. (Courtesy of DeLauren McKnight)

He gave her a permanent home, and now she’s giving him the gift of life.

A North Carolina woman is set to give the man who adopted her 27 years ago her kidney.

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DeLauren McKnight, who was adopted as an infant in 1992, was found to be a match for her 64-year-old adoptive dad Billy Houze after his sons were tested but were not found to be matches, according to “Good Morning America.”

“I never thought I would be a match because I was adopted,” McKnight told the morning show. “I got the call at work and I wanted him to be the first person that knew. I called and I said, ‘Daddy, I have to tell you something. I’m a match.’

“He said, ‘What are you mad for?’ I said, ‘No, I’m a match!’ He stopped talking and he was crying. I was shaking. It was overwhelming.”

McKnight found out on Feb. 1 that she was a good fit to donate the organ to her dad, and they’re hoping to have the surgery done in the next few weeks.

Houze, a pastor, said his kidneys began failing in 2016 after having gallbladder surgery. He was told by doctors he needed a kidney transplant or he wouldn’t live more than five years.

“She told me, ‘Daddy, you thought you were saving my life pulling me from foster care but in actuality, you were saving my life so I could save yours later,’” Houze told “GMA.” “I am extremely proud of her.”

The love and admiration are mutual.

“I call him my Superman,” she said. “Without him and my mom, I wouldn’t have known where I’d be. There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t give him so he can enjoy life and be right there beside me.”

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