Perfect Strangers

About This Episode


What lies beyond the art of giving and receiving? In Perfect Strangers we meet Ellie, a kind-hearted masseuse, who decides she wants to share the gift of life with a stranger who has posted online that she needs a kidney. More than 98,000 people in the United States are waiting for a new kidney. Tragically, one-third of them will die before a kidney from a deceased donor becomes available.

Five hundred miles away, Kathy endures nightly dialysis and loses hope of receiving a transplant until she hears from Ellie. They meet and form a deep and genuine friendship. Over the course of four years, however, both women face unexpected challenges. As their parallel journeys unfold, the film raises questions about what motivates an individual to perform an extreme act of compassion. When we learn that Kathy’s body would reject Ellie’s kidney, we become disheartened along with them. Ellie firm in her commitment to gift a kidney, explores new and even anonymous options. She is open to all possibilities as long as her kidney does not “go to Dick Cheney,” she says half-jokingly.