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Match.com Leads To Kidney Match For SA Man

More than 11,000 Texans are waiting on an organ transplant. One San Antonio man found the organ he desperately needed when Match.com led not to love, but to a new kidney.

When Bob Golden’s neighbor signed him up on Match.com, Beth Willstrop was one of the first women he met. They didn’t find a love connection.


"We had gone out a couple of times," Golden remembered. "Very nice lady. There was none of the love match that either of us was hoping for."

Credit Beth Willstrop
Beth Willstrop donated her kidney to Bob Golden in May 2016.


"It wasn’t a romance," Willstrop reiterated. "The spark wasn’t there, you know, but we did end up best friends."

Not just best friends, but now housemates for the past six years.

When Bob was in stage five kidney failure, he opted to forego dialysis and wait for an organ. The 70-year-old former pilot said lifestyle trumped longevity. Beth didn’t hesitate to get herself tested to see if she was a match to become a living donor.

"How could I let him die when I could do something," Willstrop said.

Last Christmas, a holiday that is also Bob’s birthday, Beth gave him the gift he most needed. She revealed to him she was, indeed, a match.

Credit Beth Willstrop
Beth Willstrop and Bob Golden pose post-surgery.


The surgery took place in May at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital Medical Center.

In retrospect, Beth finds it funny that a dating site led to a gift that didn’t involve her heart.

She joked "I really need to let Match.com know that’s not the match I meant."




Wendy Rigby is a San Antonio native who has worked as a journalist for more than 25 years. She spent two decades at KENS-TV covering health and medical news. Now, she brings her considerable background, experience and passion to Texas Public Radio.