SUGAR CAMP - You might find all the joy you need this Christmas between two best friends.
Jean Neumann and Patty Bonack fit together like two pieces of a puzzle.
They've shared a friendship for four years, but now they share something else.
Neumann found out she needed a kidney transplant in May.
"It was [hard] to, balance the idea that you needed one, it was the idea of are you going to run out of time? Before you can either have a transplant or you can have a diseased kidney or you're getting to close to dialysis," Neumann explained.
Neuman's pastor put a note on their church bulletin in St. Germain.
A few people wanted to help, but Patty was a perfect match.
"I just knew in my heart that I was going to be the one to donate," Bonack said.
"I said, 'Patty, just because you went through the evaluation doesn't mean anything,'" Neumann joked. "Patty said, 'No, no, no, no, I know it's going to be me. It's going to be me. I already checked and there's an opening for surgery sometime in November. But I don't think I'll do that one, because my husband needs to go duck hunting.'"
Patty let her husband hunt.
She scheduled surgery for December 3rd in Madison.
She had one idea for how to pass the time.
"She starts baking. I'm not talking 3 dozen cookies, more like 900. And she has them all packaged and stuff and by the time we go down for the transplant, she'd give so much to the transplant team and so much to the nurses etc. So everybody was wired on sugar before they took care of us," said Neumann.
The surgery went well. The new kidney started working immediately after surgery.
"As far as the health of the kidney goes, my surgeon was supremely happy. He said that it's very, very healthy," said Neumann. "It's a big, big, big early Christmas gift."
"For me, it's just, seeing the tears. The smile, and knowing that she's feeling so much better now than she used to be," said Bonack.
The duo knows there will be plenty of laughs for years to come.
"UW-Madison did 300 transplants this year. And I'm one," said Neumann.
"We're one," Bonack corrected.
Bonack hopes to write a book about organ donation.
Both of them want to spread the word about organ donation.
They say you can register online to be an organ donor at www.YesIWillWisconsin.com.
Yes I Will Wisconsin (Organ Donation sign up)