AUSTIN - It has been one year since a University of Texas at Austin employee donated his kidney to his pastor, who was diagnosed with a life-threatening kidney disease.
Pastor Javier Castillo and Kyle Anderson are connected forever.
"Kyle's kidney is now sustaining Javier's life and we hope it continues to do that for many, many more years," Kyle's wife Brigid Anderson said.
Castillo was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disorder that causes cysts to grow in the kidneys.
Last September, he and Anderson underwent surgery for a transplant. Friends of both families said it was a difficult few months, but are grateful to see the two of them happy and healthy.
"We obviously have known both of them before and after seeing the changes we have seen it's been amazing. We thank God every day," Friend Victor Torres said.
Sunday, the families celebrated the one year anniversary with a huge party filled with music, games and food. They said it's their way to tell all those who have been there, thank you.
"Everyone who is here has played some part in supporting us through the surgeries, bringing us meals to the houses, just anything," Brigid Anderson said.
Kyle said the support from the church doesn't surprise him. All of this is more than what he prayed for.
"I'm back to my normal self: emotionally I feel even better. He's family now, not just friends, he's family," Anderson said.
One year ago there were two families. But today, and for the rest of their lives, the Andersons and Castillos stand as one.
"When everybody comes together it says a lot about the importance of one's life - that people think it's worth saving," Javier Castillo said.
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