September 21, 2023

MOUNT UNION, HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — As the owner of Precision Cutz in Mount Union, Huntingdon County, Karina Posey is constantly making people feel like the best version of themselves.

“You really get a bond with your clients,” Posey said. “A lot of them are like family to me. Sometimes I serve as more of a counselor and listen to life problems, you know, just being a listening ear makes a big difference.”

However, even before she knew she wanted to be a hairdresser, she knew she wanted to be an organ donor

“My mom said that when I was like 12 or 13, I asked her if I was an organ donor,” Posey explained. “As soon as I turned 16, I made sure it was on my license. Now that I’m an adult and able to make decisions of my own, giving up an organ sounded like a pretty good deal!”

The post Spaid made on Facebook

Fitting for what comes next.

One day, in between clients, Posey was scrolling through Facebook and she came across a post made by Robert Spaid, who lived in Mount Union before moving to Carlisle a couple years ago. He was holding out hope that someone might step up and give him a kidney.

“My initial thought was, that’s me, I’m giving him my kidney” Posey laughed. “I didn’t hesitate. I just went to the back and made that phone call. The only concern I had was am I going to be able to do it? So getting that call that I was accepted as a donor was one of the best moments of my life.”

“She tries to make it like she just let me borrow $5,” Spaid, who now has a new kidney thanks to Posey, said. “Like Karina, it’s not $5, you just gave me a kidney. 

Most of us have trouble giving away an old t-shirt, but Karina doesn’t even think twice about donating a part of herself. Especially since she knew it would save someone else.

Posey and Spaid after surgery

“You can live your life to the fullest potential with one kidney,” Posey said. “There is no need for us to have two. It didn’t feel right to hold onto both knowing how I could ultimately change somebody’s life for the better by just giving away that one kidney.”

Spaid is a father to five boys.

“He has been sick for so long that the kids are now going to have the best version of daddy,” Posey explained “He has been so sick and he has been limited to what he has been able to do.”

Spaid’s diabetes led to stage 4 kidney failure, forcing him to spend the last three years on dialysis.

“I feel a whole lot better honestly,” Spaid said. “Before it took 15 minutes just to get out of the room in the morning. Now I can just wake up and go whenever I want. I just have a new look on things. It’s just way more easier. I wish I would have appreciated my body and my health years ago.”

In this season of giving, Posey gave the most precious present of all, the gift of a healthy life. For that, Spaid is forever grateful.

Spaid after getting a new kidney

“The kids asked what they were getting for Christmas and I told them you got me with a new kidney for Christmas,” Spaid smiled. “I am going to wrap myself up, roll under the tree and I’m going to be stretched out in the morning when they come down!”

Whether it’s at work or in her daily life, if Posey has the chance to help change someone’s life, she’s going to do it. 

“I don’t foresee this being the end,” Posey said. “There are still other things that I can do to impact other people’s lives and so I look to move forward and try to do the greater good.”

A message she hopes resonates with others.

“I want to advocate for this and I really hope to touch somebody else to possibly inspire them to do the same,” Posey said.

While Posey and Spaid were not a direct match, Posey joined the kidney exchange program. This means because Posey was willing to donate, two people got a kidney.

Spaid said he would most likely still be waiting for a kidney if it wasn’t for Posey.

Posey said if anyone is interested in being a living donor they can reach out to her if they have any questions.