This Couple Met on Tinder Before Realizing They’re the Perfect Match in More Ways Than One

Fri Oct 08 2021

Many people spend years dreaming of “The One.” They go on a search for true love and hope that this will lead them into the arms of their perfect person – and for some people, it’s pretty easy. They meet their other halves at college, at work, or in a bar, and then they go from there. But many other people also need a little help in the form of dating apps, and that’s exactly how Reid Alexander found the love of his life.

When Reid created a Tinder account and started swiping left and right, he had no idea that he would not only find the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, but that he would also find the perfect match – quite literally. And his soulmate just so happened to be the man who would ultimately save his life in more ways than one. This story really is one in a million.

24-Year-Old Reid Alexander Grew up in Indiana and Was Diagnosed With a Terrible Disease Seven Years Ago

Although this story is one full of eternal love and happiness, life hasn’t always been easy for Alexander Reid. The 24-year-old’s life was turned upside down seven years ago when he was just a teenager living in Indiana, as at just 17 years old he was diagnosed with an inherited disease called Alport syndrome. This is a disease that primarily affects the kidneys, but can have other major effects.

In Alexander’s case, his condition has led to hearing loss, and he has worn hearing aids for many years now – a symptom that came alongside major kidney disease. The young man noted that “It was definitely scary. Being a teenager and thinking your kidneys are going to fail someday. I had to mature really fast and be focused on staying healthy.”

Although Reid Was Told That He Needed a Kidney Transplant, He Decided To Move Across the Country

Despite his health concerns, Reid tried to make the most of his life. He graduated from college and had plans to move to Denver to start his career in the world of fitness. However, he hit a snag when at a routine hospital checkup doctors discovered that Reid’s kidneys were only functioning at 20%. This meant that he needed a kidney transplant and would be put on the transplant list.

Reid was floored by the news, but he knew that he wasn’t going to let this information ruin his life. Although he knew that he would eventually have to have a kidney transplant and have sessions of dialysis to maintain a relatively normal kidney function, he didn’t want this prognosis to stop him in his tracks. So, he continued with his plan to move to Denver, and he secured a job working as a fitness instructor for kids just two days before he left!

After Moving to Denver, Reid Downloaded Tinder and Matched With Rafael Dìaz

Although Reid had his health concerns at the back of his mind, he wanted to enjoy his new life in Denver. Over the years he had found ways to manage his disease and stayed as healthy as he possibly could. So, until he was able to work his way up the transplant list he knew there was nothing else he could do but make the most of a new town. And in an effort to meet new people and strike up a love interest, Reid downloaded the dating app Tinder.

It was August 2020 – a week after he moved – when Reid swiped right on a man by the name of Rafael Dìaz. His match had moved to Denver from Mexico two and a half years previously and was also looking for that special someone. And while they were obviously attracted to each other physically, they soon realized their connection was deeper than that. Dìaz has confessed that “Both of us [were] impressed with each other. We really just hit it off.”

Since Meeting in Person in August 2020, They’ve Since Never Spent a Day Apart From Each Other

After chatting on the dating app for a few days, Reid and Rafael decided to take their connection to the next level and meet in person – and that’s exactly what they did! They opted to meet in a park close to their homes, and as soon as they saw each other they knew that their instincts were right. Rafael was instantly won over by the fact that Reid understood a little Spanish.

After meeting in the park, both men knew that they didn’t want to leave each other. And they haven’t. Reid told People that “We were together every day ever since. It felt like we knew each other for a really long time. And it still feels like that to us.” They were both smitten with each other but had no idea the journey that was going to come both of their ways.

Reid and Rafael Enjoyed Their New Love, but Reid Knew He’d Have To Come Clean About His Health Eventually

As the new couple spent every day together, they enjoyed every second they had learning about each other and making memories. Rafael has noted that “We have a lot of things in common, and we make each other laugh all the time. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen or watching movies.”

But despite the fact that Reid was utterly over the moon to have found someone who made him happier than he had ever been before, he couldn’t shake the bad feeling that he had at the back of his mind. After all, he had been honest to Rafael about so many things – but he’d yet to talk about his medical history or his kidney failure. And he knew that he would eventually have to come clean.

Reid Eventually Told Rafael About the Complexities of His Disease, and His Partner’s Reaction Shocked Him

After a few weeks together, Reid knew that he couldn’t put it off any longer. He had grown to love Rafael so much, and he wanted to come clean so that Rafael could make his own decision about whether he wanted to continue the relationship. Of course, Reid hoped that his boyfriend would stand by him – but he just didn’t know what to think.

When he sat down to disclose his medical history, Reid noted that he had to wear hearing aids and had to reduce the amount of sodium in his diet – things that Rafael had already noticed on his own. But Rafael also wanted to know a little more about the disease and the dialysis that Reid would need. In fact, he wanted to support Reid every step of the way.

Rafael Was Supportive of Reid’s Condition, and Wanted To Do Everything He Could To Help Him Thrive

When Reid detailed his condition to his partner, he was just preparing for his very first round of dialysis – and it was a tough and tricky time for him to navigate. But thankfully, Rafael was extremely sympathetic towards his condition, and it didn’t change how he felt about him in the slightest. In fact, he inspired Rafael to do everything he could to make him thrive.

Rafael told People that when he was told about Reid’s condition, “That’s when I started to put more attention into the syndrome he has.” While he didn’t know of anyone else who had Alport syndrome, he was willing to do whatever was needed to support him through his treatment. And as he did his research, he realized what he could do… 

Rafael Was So Committed To Helping Reid That He Offered His Own Kidney, but Didn’t Know if He Was a Match

Rafael knew that dialysis would help Reid avoid total kidney failure, but he also knew that what he really needed was a kidney transplant. And while Reid was on the transplant list, they knew it could possibly take years to reach the top and become eligible for the operation. So, Rafael offered his services to fast-track the whole process.

When Dìaz offered his boyfriend his kidney, Reid was taken aback. He noted that “I was like, ‘No, you don’t have to do that.’ But he was very determined.” But Rafael was already signed up to be an organ donor, and it just felt natural to him. He told Reid that “You are someone that I want, that I love, so I can do it for you.” However, it wasn’t as simple as that.

As They Began Testing To See Whether Rafael Was a Match, the Couple Also Got Engaged

In the end, Reid could see how determined Rafael was to help him – and he just couldn’t say no. He couldn’t believe that the man he loved had offered to be so selfless, and he knew that things were so perfect between them. But what he didn’t know was that things were going to get even more unbelievable.

By the time the couple made their way to the hospital to test their compatibility and whether Rafael’s kidney would be a match for Reid, Rafael had decided that he wanted to spend the rest of his life by Reid’s side. So, he bought a ring and he popped the question at their favorite restaurant. Of course, Reid said yes!

The Couple Decided To Put Their Wedding Fund Towards the Transplant, but Then They Received Bad News

Not only were Reid and Rafael engaged, but they were also hopeful that they were the perfect match for Reid’s kidney transplant – and everything seemed to be falling into place. The couple had dreamed of having a destination wedding with their friends and family around them and had even saved money for such an occasion. However, with a potential transplant process looming, they decided to tie the knot in an intimate ceremony instead.

Reid noted that “We were going to wait and do a big traditional wedding, but then the realization of a transplant happening this year was getting more and more likely. So it was [either] saving up money for a wedding or saving up money for a transplant. And so we chose transplant.” But sadly, the couple was then met with complications when it came to their transplant hopes.

Their Local Hospital Thought the Transplant Was Too Risky, but Reid’s Childhood Hospital Agreed the Go Ahead

Although the married couple learned that Rafael’s kidney was a match for Reid, their local hospital in Denver refused to go ahead with the operation. Rafael’s kidney was much larger than what Reid needed, and they thought this difference in size was just too risky for them. Because of this, they passed on the operation.

However, it wasn’t the end of their kidney journey. It just so happened that the Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis was prepared to go ahead with the surgery – and this really struck a chord with Reid. After all, that was the hospital where he had spent many hours as a teenager, as that’s where he started his treatment when he was just 17 years old.

They Were Finally Given a Surgery Date, and Reid’s Parents Were on Hand To Look After the Couple

What made this hospital decision even more poignant was the fact that Reid’s parents could be by his side the whole way, and they could be on hand to look after the couple during the whole process – as they were just around the corner. And his parents prepared themselves for this moment, as they learned that Rafael and Reid had been given their transplant date in June 2021.

Their date was set for August 2021, and while Reid and Rafael only had a month to mentally and physically prepare themselves for a painful stint in hospital – they were excited. Reid was still on cloud nine knowing that his partner and husband had agreed to be so selfless, and he was over the moon to know that his new kidney would come from the man he loved more than anything. But he was also pretty nervous…

The Surgery Was a Success, but It Was Also a Painful Ordeal for the Pair

On August 13, 2021, Reid and Rafael made their way to the Indiana University Health Hospital to undergo their surgery, and their friends and family waited with bated breath to see whether it was a success. Amazingly, it was! While it was not possible to tell initially whether Reid’s body had accepted or rejected Rafael’s kidney, the initial results were positive, and the doctors were confident that all went well.

Reid and Rafael were overcome with emotion when they opened their eyes to each other in the hospital, despite the pain. Rafael confessed that “I was in a lot of pain. But if I had to do it again, I would… It’s not only because I love him so much, but it’s also because I will be able to share life [with him] and enjoy this feeling that made [him] happy.”

Reid Will Forever Be Grateful to His Husband, Who Made a Huge Sacrifice To Save Him

Although it will be a few months before Reid and his doctors can see for sure whether Rafael’s kidney has made a difference to Reid’s condition, the initial results seem promising – and just seeing the change in Reid is enough to make Rafael happy. He seems to have a new lease on life and is happier than ever.

And it’s fair to say that Reid will forever be grateful to his husband for making such an incredible and selfless sacrifice to save him. Reid noted that “I don’t think there’s anything that I can do that shows my appreciation. It means so much because to me, he made the ultimate sacrifice. He gave me an organ so that I can live a better life [and] be healthy. And that’s just so amazing.”

Reid and Rafael Stayed by Each Other’s Side Throughout the Whole Process, Even in the Hospital

The true love between Reid and Rafael was apparent to anyone in the hospital who saw them together. Not only were the hospital staff impressed that Rafael was willing to give up his kidney for his husband, but they could also see how much they truly cared about each other. Even when they were both in pain.

The husbands would lay next to each other in their hospital beds, they would walk hand-in-hand down the hospital corridors to get some exercise, and they recovered right next to each other at all times. And they proved to everyone that they were the perfect match through and through. But they still had some hardships to get past.

Reid Has Cried Every Day Since the Transplant, and Can’t Believe How Lucky He’s Been

The whole experience has been incredibly emotional for everyone involved, but especially for Reid. While he tried not to let his illness get the better of him, he knew that the only way to truly survive and thrive was through a kidney transplant – and his own husband was the one to give him this new lease of life.

In fact, he’s cried every day since the surgery. He’s confessed that “I’ve already cried so much. From the first day that I woke up in the hospital after surgery and every day after, every time we saw each other, I just cried. It means a lot to me.” He feels incredibly lucky, but the couple still has a very long and painful road ahead of them.

But to Ensure That Reid Stays Healthy and His New Kidney Doesn’t Get Rejected, He Has To Take a Lot of Medication

Any kind of organ transplant is risky, and the chance of rejection is always there. And despite how healthy and happy Reid currently feels, he has to be on the lookout for any changes in his health. Alongside this, he also has to take a huge amount of medication that hinders his immune system – which has been challenging during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With a lowered immune system, Reid is susceptible to even more illnesses and infections, which is something he wants to avoid at all costs. So, during the pandemic, they have had to take extra precautions, with Reid confessing that “We have to be super crazy about washing hands and avoiding exposure to things because I don’t really have an immune system right now.”

Due to the Intense Recovery Period, Reid and Rafael Have Also Had To Stay in Indiana and Haven’t Been Able to Work

Alongside the risk of Covid-19, the couple also has to abide by the hospital’s strict rules when it comes to transplants. And the rules at the Indiana hospital state that both Rafael and Reid have to be nearby for a whole three months after the operation. This meant that they had to put their lives in Denver on hold, and even press pause on their careers.

As if that wasn’t enough, they can’t even drive or fly for six to eight weeks after the operation – meaning they couldn’t go home even if they wanted to. Because of this, the couple set up a GoFundMe page to help them cover their expenses and rent while they’re not able to work.

When They Return Home, Reid and Rafael Hope To Make the Most of Their New Lives Together

When Reid and Rafael do eventually return home, they can’t wait to see what their new lives have in store for them. Rafael has noted that “I think that the next step for us in this journey is to enjoy as much as we can because we never know what can happen next.” And they certainly plan to enjoy every single moment together.

Now that they’re married they’re going to finally embrace married life and embrace the next few years of their lives together. They know better than others that you never know what’s around the corner, and they don’t want to wait too long to make happy memories together as husband and husband. After all, they’re quite literally the perfect match for each other.

They Hope That Their Story Will Inspire People To Learn More About Organ Donation

Reid and Rafael’s story is certainly an incredible one, and one that has gone viral over the past few weeks. And while they’re glad that people can find solace in their story, they also hope that they can inspire people at the same time. Reid’s life has been changed forever thanks to his kidney transplant, but they know that organ donation isn’t a hugely popular topic of conversation.

But Rafael wants people to know that “You never know who [may] need you for that, or where you can help. You can help families. You can help people. You can help to change the life of someone else and [give] someone the opportunity that they didn’t have before. If you can do it, do it.”