She never expected that her casual imitation of 'The Mandalorian' dialogue would help her get a kidney transplant for real.
Ever since the Moff Gideon dialogue, "You have something I want," was made into memes and gifs, thousands of people on the internet have used it to match their vibe in their videos or posts. Katie Hallum, a student at Oklahoma University who was diagnosed with incurable kidney disease, also decided to use this audio for her TikTok video (@chaychaywayway) where, with no serious intention, she hinted that she is looking for a kidney donor. But to her shock, someone actually came forward to offer a kidney to Katie, as reported by KOCO 5 News.
Living in Norman, Oklahoma, Katie is just like any other college girl who goes to classes, works part-time and loves posting on TikTok for fun. IgA nephropathy is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and kidney damage, according to the NIDDK. Speaking about her battle with the disease, Katie said, "I went into kidney failure and I had a massive seizure at the hospital and I was hospitalized for eight days." Her TikTok video began with the words "POV: I overhear you say you have an O blood type and healthy kidneys," and then Katie emerged from the room lip-syncing the popular "The Mandalorian" line. She sarcastically captioned her video, "Haha. Just kidding, Unless...?"
Little did Katie think that the video she posted jokingly would make someone want to donate their kidney. Savannah Stallbaumer, a Kansas-based girl, who was the same age as Katie befriended her and responded to the video saying she was ready to offer her kidney. Katie was initially skeptical to accept this offer and she said, "There's a possibility her kidney could die in me and she said that as long as it bought me a few years off of dialysis. She didn't care. She wanted to do this." Katie was surprised by Savannah in a Norman restaurant where the donor revealed a "Breaking News" board that said, "You're getting a new kidney." Speaking about the incident Savannah said, "It was very emotional. Other people were crying too in the restaurant just watching it."
After a year of medical testing to see if their kidneys match, Savannah donated one of her kidneys to Katie in August this year. She posted about her journey of kidney donation on Facebook and thanked her friends for being supportive through it. She wrote, "Yesterday I donated my kidney to the most amazing person I have ever met. When I had to come to Tulsa for more testing, we met in person for the first time and talked for hours. When I found out that we were a match, I knew I was going to donate. She is such a smart and genuine person and has the brightest future ahead of her and she shouldn’t be held down by kidney failure. If you met her you’d understand."
Katie shared a grateful post for Savannah on Facebook where she wrote, "You once told me you were working to be a nurse because you wanted to be someone’s hero—but I can tell you now you’re already mine. You are the definition of someone who has gone through so much and given to so many and yet continues to move forward with strength and humility. You are more than just my friend and my donor - you are my sister. I love you, my hero." She feels very grateful to be alive and to still be moving. While Savannah is soon starting her nursing school, Katie is finishing her senior year while working for KGOU radio.