A Lifesaving Donation: Alex Fox

In 2016, Alex Fox made what he said was the most important decision in his life. He donated his kidney to a teenager that he never met before.

Fox, an Investment Consultant in Boise, Idaho, was scrolling through his Facebook feed in late 2015 and came across a photo of 15-year-old Darienne Quinoz, posted by her mother, with a plea for help.

“She needed a new kidney to save her life,” Fox said. “I didn’t know the family, but I was a friend of her aunt’s.”

According to Darienne’s mother, Melissa Tye, Darienne had a lot of challenges with her physical health, as well as learning disabilities and orthopedic problems, and, most recently, kidney disease.

“I wasn’t a huge user of Facebook at the time, but I thought it was a good way to get out to my family members who said they would be interested in donating a kidney,” said Tye. “I have a big family, and so many people in the last couple of years said when she’s ready, they’d be tested. In no way did I think that it would reach other people.”

It was that same day that Fox found the post on his feed.

Fox was already in the process of becoming a kidney donor, but there was something that struck him about this request. His son, Karston, has arthrogryposis – congenital joint contractures in two or more areas of the body – and learning problems.

“I’ve been blessed by the special needs community,” said Fox. “I felt a connection to Darienne and wanted to make a difference.”

Fox had previously volunteered for the Special Olympics in Utah, and is now Chairman of the Board of the Special Olympics in Idaho. He’s also now an advocate for the National Kidney Foundation.

“When he offered, I thought to myself ‘Are you crazy?’ Why would you do that for a total stranger?” Tye said of Fox’s kidney offer. “But Alex was in it for the right reasons. He was in it to help a little girl that needed help.”

Fox met Darienne and family in January 2016 and started the slew of medical tests to ensure his kidney would be a match. In March, he found out he was an exact match.

“When I found out that I was a perfect match, I called Darienne’s mother before I even told my family. We both just cried together. It was a very exciting moment.”

Scottrade gave Fox time off for medical tests and the surgery itself. The transplant took place on May 31, 2016, and two weeks later, Fox was back to work. The surgery was a success, and Darienne is doing well with the transplanted kidney.

“I’m lucky enough to be able to talk to Darienne daily. That’ll probably slow down in the near future, but she will always be on the top of my mind,” said Fox. “The best part of this experience for me is knowing I get to watch her do things she’s never done before. I would do it all over again. We all get to watch Darienne bloom in life, and that makes it all worth it.”