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The gift of life and love: Two women celebrate kidney donation in South Jersey

<i></i><br/>Krystal Valianti and Janet Labar celebrated their kidney donation in South Jersey.
Lawrence, Nakia

Krystal Valianti and Janet Labar celebrated their kidney donation in South Jersey.


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    OAKLYN, New Jersey (KYW) — The gift of life and love. In Oaklyn, Camden County, people gathered to celebrate a kidney donation.

The donor and the recipient were at the celebration.

The story is filled with incredible sacrifice and now a never-ending friendship and close bond. While they were shocked to see the cameras show up, they kindly shared their journey with CBS News Philadelphia.

The hug between Krystal Valianti and Janet Labar spoke a million words. Valianti recently received a kidney donation from Labar.

“I just knew I had to do something,” Labar said.

Labar was honored for her bravery and selflessness at the Oakyln Borough Hall Tuesday night.

“It’s the best gift I could ever get, I am just grateful,” Valianti said.

It’s been a challenging, long and emotional road for Valianti. This was her second transplant after originally receiving one from her sister in 2015.

Valianti said her mom was friends with Labar and happened to be a match.

“When I found out she was a match I was obviously shocked, I cried because I know it’s not an easy choice or easy decision but I was really happy,” Valianti said.

“She’s not just beautiful but she funny and an amazing person and never once has she complained about her health issues. She was always comforting me instead of me comforting her and saying, ‘It’s going to be OK,'” Labar said.

Valianti had the transplant on Aug. 9. She is now back at work as a preschool teacher at Woodlynne Public Schools and is filled with positive energy and a contagious smile.

“She has a love for life and to be a part of that is a blessing for me,” Labar said.

Labar was also backed by her 1984 Collingswood High School graduating class who was in the audience along with other family and friends. Both said they are so grateful for the love and support from so many.

“And the prayers definitely helped and got us through it all,” Labar said.

Valianti and Labar said they are both feeling great post-transplant.

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