Peter Brouwer was in desperate need of a liver donor, and it just so happened another hockey parent, Vanessa Smith, was a perfect match. Smith had no idea that Brouwer, just another parent at their sons' hockey games in Ontario, Canada, was hunting for a donor and fighting for his life.

Brouwer was diagnosed with a very rare autoimmune disease called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC). Over the years, it had progressively destroyed his liver. He took his search public for a donor on his Facebook page last fall.


Smith, who often sits next to Brouwer and his wife at hockey games, doesn't even have a Facebook account. She also doesn't have a Tinder account, which has been oddly known to result in organ transplants. She heard the news the old-fashioned way, through parents chatting at their kids' games. She knew she has type O blood, which is often a universal donor for transplants. Brouwer described his shock when she offered to be a donor:

We were at our son's hockey game in Brampton and … she came up to me and said 'I'm O-type blood. I would love to do this.' We were more of a casual acquaintance. When we would go to tournaments we would sit together. The friendship was at the rink and at the lacrosse floor.

Brouwer and Smith two days before the transplant.
Sources: The Hamilton Spectator