Jason Bristol's parents had no idea when they walked into Roma Imports in Latham more than a year ago that a man behind the deli counter would save their son's life.
Bristol, 29, a former dialysis patient and customer of the Latham store, was in need of a kidney transplant when employee Ryan Scorsone, 26, offered to donate his own.
On Sunday, June 6, more than 1,000 people gathered at the University at Albany for the National Kidney Foundation of Northeast New York's Albany Kidney Walk at the University at Albany. Among those in attendance were Bristol, of Niskayna, and Scorsone, of Latham.
It's just amazing that someone would do that, said Bristol, who said his mouth simply dropped when he heard the news. "I'm still shocked about it. I was shocked from Day One, and I'm still a little shocked now. It was sort of a whirlwind."
Bristol and his parents are frequent customers of Roma Imports and the employees there would always ask how Bristol was doing. One day his parents were talking about Bristol's predicament " he had just been placed back on the kidney transplant list " when Scorsone, who was working the deli counter, overheard their conversation. He immediately wanted to do something to help. He decided that he wanted to donate one of his kidneys.
"He and his parents were skeptical at first," said Scorsone of the Bristol family's initial reaction.
"From what I hear from people, it's not that common of a thing, so I told Jason when I saw him a couple days later, 'Just give me whatever paperwork I need to get, come back up here to Romas, and I'll get the ball rolling,'" said Scorsone.
It took several months before everything was evaluated and cleared, but it was eventually announced that Scorsone was eligible to donate his kidney to Bristol.