Kickball friends bonded for life after kidney donation

They are kickball rivals, friends and now bonded for life. Two D.C. men have an even closer friendship after one of them offered up and donated a kidney.

The transplant happened in mid-July at Medstar Georgetown Hospital and was part of a paired swap, which gave Paul Johnson a second chance at life.

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Johnson and Ryan Maddock became friends while playing on separate teams in the Stonewall Kickball League, a league for LGBTQ people and their allies.

During a game, Maddock, who has worked in the medical field, noticed something was off with Johnson.

"I knew immediately that he had kidney disease. I just from one point just knew in my head. I had worked in the medical field for a while and I've seen not adults, but pediatrics go through the same thing," Maddock said.

Johnson has a rare autoimmune disease, which was attacking his kidneys.

Maddock convinced Johnson to sign up for the donor registry by offering one of his own kidneys. He wasn't a direct match, so the two did a pair swap, where Maddock's kidney was swapped with another donor who was a match for Johnson.

Maddock's offer became a lifeline for Johnson, who says without it he would have likely had to wait for five to eight more years.

"It is a second chance. It's more time added to life. I can't even put it into words. It was just amazing," Johnson said.

Doctors still monitor Johnson on a weekly basis, but he tells FOX 5 he is feeling good and doing well with the new kidney.