Young man surprises his older brother with life-saving kidney donation on his birthday

At the age of 23, Brandon Lash got terrible news. He found out his kidney was failing and that he needed a transplant. He waited for months on the transplant list, going through the regular dialysis appointments he needed to keep himself alive.

Then, for his 25th birthday, Brandon got one heck of a present. His 21-year-old brother, Derek, saw Brandon’s birthday as the perfect opportunity to share that he would be his kidney donor. Come to find out, Brandon and Derek were a perfect match for the transplant!

To reveal the surprise, Derek presented Brandon with a card for his birthday. Brandon was instructed to read the card aloud as their mom, Beth, filmed the whole thing. She posted it to Facebook on Dec. 25. Watch the heartwarming moment below.


Derek’s card to his big brother read, “I love spending time with you … I’m so thankful I have you for my brother. You have always been there for me, even though I get on your nerves sometimes. You will always have a piece of my heart,” while reading, Brandon pauses to open the card for the big reveal: “And now you will have my kidney, too! We are a perfect match.”

Upon reading those words, Brandon immediately dropped the card and began to cry. He jumped up to hug his brother. “Congratulations, you’re getting my kidney,” Derek said as the two embraced.

The moment couldn’t have been any sweeter, and according to Beth, the brothers’ bond couldn’t be any stronger now that they’re going through this process together.

“Brandon and Derek have always been close,” Beth Lash told “Today.” “My hopes and dreams for my boys have always been for them to be happy, healthy and kind and to always stay true to their heart. I think their brother bond will get even stronger, if that’s even possible.”

According to “Today,” Brandon has kidney disease and receives dialysis treatment several times a week, but his brother’s generous donation will likely greatly improve his quality of life. He seems extremely grateful for both his brother and his brother’s willingness to donate his kidney.

“He’s the best brother ever, and I’m just thankful he was able to donate to me,” Brandon told Pittsburgh’s WTAE-TV. The transplant surgery is set to take place on Jan. 16.

Clearly, the video has touched many people online. Beth’s clip has been viewed about 7 million times since she posted it and celebrities like Ashton Kutcher have even shared it with their fans.

Of course, transplants don’t always have to come from a relative. There are plenty of heartwarming stories of strangers saving strangers by offering organs for transplant. Take Anna Cuthbertson, a veteran and police officer in San Francisco, who donated her kidney through the National Kidney Registry to save someone she didn’t even know.

“You bring a good kidney to the table, and suddenly a whole list of people are able to get a donation,” Cuthbertson told CNN last year. “It was exciting knowing that [I was] bringing my good kidney to the table, and who knew how many people were going to get a kidney as a result of that?”

Whether they’re brothers or complete strangers—the bond between patients who take part in an organ transplant is one that will last forever. Best wishes to Brandon and Derek as they undergo this operation.