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Banner employee donates kidney to close friend & colleague’s husband

Gabriel Chavez had been on dialysis for nearly two years

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GILBERT (Apr. 18, 2023) – Cory Collyar, a certified support assistant who works in the emergency room at Banner Gateway Medical Center, recently donated his kidney on April 1 to his longtime friend – who is also his colleague’s husband. Gabriel Chavez had been on dialysis and waiting for a healthy kidney for almost two years. Both Cory and Gabriel are recovering well.

Cory and Gabriel met in 2010 and became close friends through their wives. Alba Porchas, an intensive care unit nurse at Banner Gateway and Brittney Collyar, associate chief nursing officer at Banner Del E. Webb Medical and Banner Boswell Medical Center, met in 2000 through participation in a high school organization, and have remained close ever since. Alba and Brittney met Gabriel in 2002, and Cory moved to Phoenix to be with Brittney in 2010. The friendship between the four grew and has remained strong for years now.

During a Collyar family dinner in September 2023, Gabriel’s need for a kidney was the topic of conversation and testing for a live donation was discussed. Brittney and others in her family had already tested and were not a match. Cory knew it was his turn to try and after multiple months of tests, he was told he was a match in early 2024.

“I didn’t even think twice. I knew what Gabriel needed and I needed to see if I could help,” Cory Collyar said. “I love my job because I work day in and day out to improve the lives for our patients. Knowing I’ve been able to do that for such a close friend in this way, it’s just indescribable. I am just so glad I could do this.”

“Cory is like a brother to me, but it’s still overwhelmingly amazing that he even considered doing this for me and for my health,” Gabriel Chavez said. “Sitting here now, there are no words to describe my feelings. I am just so thankful to Cory.”

April is Donate Life Month, an initiative to encourage people to register as organ and tissues donors and honor those who have saved lives through a donation. In 2022, the United States reached a historic milestone, achieving its one millionth organ transplant – more than any other country in the world.

“Our years-long friendship is so special to me, and this selfless act by Cory makes our bond even deeper. I am so proud of him for giving the gift of life and easing the burden on Gabe and Alba,” Brittney Collyar said.

“Gabe’s life – and my family’s life – has been changed in the absolute best way possible,” Alba Porchas added. “This has been a long journey for our family, and to know my husband is going to be alright, I am just so grateful.”


Banner Gateway Medical Center in Gilbert, Arizona, offers emergency care, surgery, women’s services, obstetrics and medical/surgical beds. Banner Gateway shares the campus with Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center and is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health care system with 33 hospitals in six states. For more information, visit

Banner Health is one of the largest, secular nonprofit health care systems in the country. In addition to 33 hospitals, Banner also operates an academic medicine division, Banner – University Medicine, and         Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, a partnership with one of the world’s leading cancer programs,       MD Anderson Cancer Center. Banner’s array of services includes a health insurance division, employed physician groups, outpatient surgery centers, urgent care locations, home care and hospice services, retail pharmacies, stand-alone imaging centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation, behavioral health services, a research division and a nursing registry. To make health care easier, 100% of Banner-employed doctors are available for virtual visits and patients may also reserve spots at Banner Urgent Care locations and can book appointments online with many Banner-employed doctors. Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health also has locations in California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit

Banner Gateway Medical Center Banner Health Kidney

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