CLINTON TWP, Mich. - For Cortez Porter, it was a pretty simple decision. Like opened his eyes one morning and just decided to do it.
"One morning he woke up and he just said 'grandma what do I need to do to be tested to see if I'm a match to give you a kidney,'" said Patricia Reid. Porter's grandma.
Despite the easiness of that decision, there is nothing simple about the history of diabetes in the Gibbs family. Porter lost his mom following a 30-year-battle to kidney failure in 2016. He was only 15 when it happened.
"It was hard, yeah, but I was young at the time, I was 15. I was going to school, playing sports so I kept myself in check," said Porter.
As Reid cared for her dying daughter, she ended up neglecting her own health and was forced to go on dialysis three times a week. In desperate need of a kidney and facing a five-year waitlist in Michigan, she saw her situation as a death sentence.
"When they told me that, it felt like a death sentence. That if you're on dialysis you eventually die because I've lost so many people in my family. My grandmother, my husband, and then my daughter," said Reid.
But then, a now 19-year-old grandson woke up and made that simple decision.
"I didn't want to lose her pretty much so I offered to give her a kidney," said Porter.
And that day, the two went to have Porter evaluated for a blood test. The results showed a perfect match.
"I didn't really like, give it any thought. I just like, you know it's gonna happen if I can do it I am going to do it," Porter said. "I'm healthy."
And last week the duo, already bonded over hardship for losing their mom and/or daughter, forged and even stronger connection. They had the transplant surgery. For Reid, who is about to turn 60 years old, it's a new lease on life.
"She can live a better life now. I'm going to be healthy now, I'm going to do what I do," Porter said. "She (Porter's mom Marium) passed away but you know, we still gotta live on."
For the other family members, living on may be easier - but that doesn't mean making it up will be any easier. Just ask Porter's aunt Michelle Gibbs.
"He saved her mom, my mom," said Michelle, with tears in her eyes."It's the gift of life literally and there's no way to pay it back but...yeah."
Well, Michelle wants to try. Porter has been trying to save money for a car so he can continue work and eventually attend college. But he's not making any money on account of the recovery period. Instead, his family is working to raise money for him to purchase his own car and help him along the way.
They're scraped together some cash but are looking for a little extra assistance. You can find their GoFundMe below:
"He's my hero. I'm so proud," said Reid.