Donating a kidney is no easy or painless thing to do. Now imagine giving one of yours to someone you don't even know. That's exactly what a Beaufort Marine did, and it saved ten-year-old Shawna Crawford's life. It's been two months since Lt. Col. Mike Viers donated his kidney, today they said thank you.
"He's my hero, he's Shawna's guardian angel," said Shawna's mother Lorna Crawford.
"I was just touched with her situation, Shawna's situation, and I just felt that I could help," said Lt. Col. Viers.
"It gave me my baby back," said Lorna. "We got our lives back, it's not just one life he's done, he's done a whole family."
That's why the Beaufort Rotary Club presented Viers with the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Award. Congressman Joe Wilson's office also awarded him with a Congressional Award.
"The award I received from the Rotary is fantastic but the reward to see Shawna up and going around and doing things a ten-year-old should be doing," said Viers. "And the energy, that's pretty awesome too."
"He deserves all the awards that there are," said father Rick Crawford. "He's definitely made our lives. Did it match up to what he's done for us? No. It couldn't possibly. There's nothing that could match up to what he's done for us."
Lt. Col. Viers has been reassigned and will be moving shortly, but a part of him will always stay with Shawna. Both families say they plan on keeping in touch with each other, no matter how many miles apart they are. They say over the past two months, they've become family.
It costs about $3,000 to $4,000 each month just for Shawna's medications, and she'll be on those the rest of her life. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so at any South Carolina Bank and Trust in care of the Shawna Crawford fund.