A Washington, D.C.-based woman is living proof that when you help others, it comes back to you. After selflessly donating one of her kidneys to her mentor, hair educator Acia Williams was gifted with her own salon, CNN reported.
Williams served as the manager of a hair salon owned by Chet Bennett for nearly a decade. Bennett has been instrumental in guiding her along her cosmetology journey for the past 20 years. He’s one of the founders of the Bennett Career Institute where Williams garnered her skills. In 2018, she learned that Bennett was in need of a kidney transplant. He had been on dialysis for over a year. Williams decided to take the necessary steps to see if she could be his donor. “God was in my spirit, just like, ‘You are his match, and you’re going to donate your kidney to him,'” she told the news outlet. “Everybody loves him, because he’s just a genuine person. He’s always been a giver, and he’s always helpful. He’s had hundreds and hundreds of students.”
After discovering she was a match and undergoing several tests to ensure she could go through with the procedure, Williams had the surgery in 2019. While she was recovering, Bennett shared he would gift her the shop that she managed. He officially transferred the shop over to Williams in October and she recently hosted a grand opening celebration for the salon which is now named A New Image by Acia. Bennett says he can’t thank Williams enough for her selfless act and wanted to make her entrepreneurial dreams a reality.
The heartwarming story comes at a time where racial disparities surrounding kidney transplants persist. Studies show that Black and Latino patients who need kidney transplants are less likely to receive organs from live donors than other groups.