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Carson woman named Hero of the Year

Staff Reports
Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal
NEVADA APPEAL | NEVADA APPEAL

A Carson City woman who donated a kidney to a co-worker was honored twice Thursday morning during a breakfast for everyday heroes hosted by the Northern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Christine Bradley received an award during the Reno event in the category of Unsung Hero, and she was honored again when she received the award for Hero of the Year.

In August, Bradley underwent surgery to donate a kidney to co-worker and passing acquaintance Judy Williams, both employed with the Department of Motor Vehicles in Carson City.

Williams, who was suffering from kidney failure and whose only chance of survival was a transplant, nominated Bradley for the award in February, saying: “Christine is the most giving and caring person I know. One day she showed up at my desk at work and told me she wanted to be tested to see if she could be my donor. Her offer to give her kidney to someone she hardly knew was amazing, and for her to be a match was truly a miracle. She will always hold a special place in my heart and in my life.”

“I’m shocked. I can’t even think right now. I’m so overwhelmed,” Bradley said immediately after her win.

Williams said her new friend was immortalized on two Wheaties boxes presented to her by the Red Cross.

“It was so great. We were all crying and happy for her,” said Williams who was among 14 other Bradley supporters who attended the breakfast. “We were pretty sure that she had won in her category, but we were all surprised that she won (Hero of the Year).”

Bradley said she never second guessed her decision to donate a kidney to Williams. Nor did she fret about whether or not she’d be a match.

“I knew from day one that this was meant to be,” she said.

Williams said the fact that the two co-workers were a match was almost as unbelievable as Bradley’s unfettered participation.

“The chances of her being a (suitable match) is a miracle,” Williams said. “I can’t even begin to thank her. There are no words.”

Monica Myles of the Red Cross said a committee decided Bradley’s sacrifice was deserving of their highest honor.

“Christine really embodied the spirit of the Red Cross and was worthy of being Hero of the Year,” Myles said.

Names of others recognized Thursday morning in Reno during the Real Heroes Breakfast hosted by the Northern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross:

Debbie Frievalt

Captain Barry Hagan

Pat Fried

F.A.O. Daryl Muzzi

Connie Nowlin

Janet Pahl

Sharon Collins

Lin O’Kelley

Kashae Felix

Jayme Graney

Pat Laizans

Kathie Lloyd

April Mayville

Julianne Medley

Carol Cook

Linda Ferguson

Jason Goodknight

Michael Redmon

Angie McEvers

Monica Sanchez

Melinda Gorney

Niccole Anderson

Maria Castaneda

Norm Dianda

Contractors Auxiliary

Carson Valley Community Food Closet

Mardi Lester

Rita Hill

Doug and Kim Russell

Raley’s Supermarket – Gardnerville

Rebecca Rund

Mikaela Woodhead

Ashlee Smith

Jared Blue

Cassady O’Neal

Ian Hill

Alex Drossulis

Symantha DeVoss

Greg Hart

In addition to individuals, the Red Cross honored those businesses and public safety organizations that responded to the Fernley Floods.

Red Cross Real Heroes 2008 winners:

Unsung Hero

Christine Bradley

Animal Rescue Hero

F.A.O. Daryl Muzzi

Adult Community Hero

Kashae Felix

Medical Rescue Hero

Angie McEvers

Community Hero

Norm Dianda and the Contractors Auxiliary

Youth Heroes

Mikaela Woodhead

Ashlee Smith

Aquatics Heroes

Sparks Lifeguard Team – Jared Blue, Alexander Drossulis, Cassady O’Neal, Harrison Davis, Iain Hill and John Peterson.

Fernley Community Hero

Greg Hart

Hero of the Year

Christine Bradley

In addition to individuals, the Red Cross honored those businesses and public safety organizations that responded to the Fernley Floods.