Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims is a lifesaver. When he learned he was a perfect donor match for a gay man was dying of renal failure last year, he agreed to donate one of his kidneys. This week, over a year later, Sims tweeted he ran into the now-healthy recipient and his husband while the two men were having lunch. He also revealed that when his parents came to town, the group all shared a meal together.
“My recipient Alan and his husband John were sitting having lunch,” Sims tweeted of the chance encounter that occured while he was walking to his office last month. “A perfectly normal, healthy, happy couple sitting in the sun enjoying each other’s company. It was perfection!”
Sims had initially kept the news secret. However, he initially revealed it last year after some Republican members of the Pennsylvania legislature tested positive for the virus but hid their status and came to work anyway without telling anyone. Sims blasted them, revealing why their actions hit home personally as well.
“In late January I secretly donated a kidney to a person who lives about 10 blocks from me in the City,” Sims tweeted at the time. “He was dying of renal failure and I turned out to be a near perfect match.”
The surgery went well and the “recipient began to improve almost immediately and his long term prognosis is strong.”
Sims noted that “none of this was ever supposed to be public” but instead was meant to be a private act of compassion. He only revealed his donation because fellow lawmakers had put him and others at risk by not revealing their positive test results.
Sims was the first out gay elected state legislator in Pennsylvania when he was first elected in 2012. He made an unsuccessful run for Congress in 2015. In February, he announced he was running for the state’s lieutenant governor.
“We need adults in the room and I want to bring bold innovative leadership based on lived experiences and shared values to the Commonwealth,” he said in the video announcing his candidacy.
Sims is a busy man these days, but he always seems to find time for family. He revealed he and his parents sat down for dinner with found time to sit down for dinner with donor recipient Alan and his husband, John, the night before.
“Families come in all shapes and sizes,” he tweeted. “Ours is pretty special.”