Couple celebrates kidney donation and wedding anniversary by renewing vows atop Empire State building

PHOTO: Alixandra and Brett Epps pose after renewing their vows at their Valentines Day ceremony at the top of the Empire State Building in New York, Feb. 14, 2018. PlayBrendan McDermid/Reuters
WATCH Couple renews vows atop Empire State Building

On a windy Valentine’s Day atop the Empire State building, like any other day, hundreds of people were waiting their turn to view New York City from the world famous observation deck.

Among the crowds braving the high winds on the iconic 86th floor were Alix and Brett Epps. The pair had a special reserved section as they anxiously renewed their wedding vows after just one year of marriage.

PHOTO: Alix and Brett Epps embrace in the hospital on the day that Alix donated a kidney to Brett.Courtesy Alix and Brett Epps
Alix and Brett Epps embrace in the hospital on the day that Alix donated a kidney to Brett.

“I’d marry her every day of the week if I could,” said Brett after the couple kissed overlooking the lower Manhattan skyline.

Brett mentioned that he was lucky to renew his vows with Alix because he wasn’t sure if he would even make it to the altar his first go-around with her. In 2014, on their very first date, Brett began experiencing chest pains, but it wasn’t simply butterflies or first date jitters. His prolonged symptoms eventually led to a diagnosis of Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a rare form of kidney disease.

PHOTO: Alix and Brett Epps embrace in the hospital on the day that Brett proposed to Alix.Courtesy Alix and Brett Epps
Alix and Brett Epps embrace in the hospital on the day that Brett proposed to Alix.

Finding a donor can be a long and often difficult process. With more than 100,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant, the average wait time can be more than three years, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Brett was making multiple trips to the hospital and spending several hours a night on dialysis. After several attempts to find a kidney donor among family, friends, and strangers, Alix volunteered to see if she would be a match for Brett. As it turned out, she was his perfect match.

PHOTO: The Empire State Building rises over lower Manhattan as viewed from the Top of the Rock observation deck in New York, Feb. 14, 2018. Lucas Jackson/Reuters
The Empire State Building rises over lower Manhattan as viewed from the Top of the Rock observation deck in New York, Feb. 14, 2018.

Alix routinely visited Brett while he was in the hospital, and on one of those visits, Brett surprised her by asking her to marry him. A few weeks later, the newly engaged couple were both in surgery for the kidney transplant.

“She ended up being the perfect match for it,” Brett said with a grin. “It couldn’t have been a better match.”

Following their vow renewal, Alix said, “It’s this extra bond. I always felt so close.”

PHOTO: Alixandra and Brett Epps kiss after renewing wedding vows at their Valentines Day ceremony at the top of the Empire State Building in New York, Feb. 14, 2018. Brendan McDermid/Reuters
Alixandra and Brett Epps kiss after renewing wedding vows at their Valentine's Day ceremony at the top of the Empire State Building in New York, Feb. 14, 2018.

Among the more than 700 applicants, 10 other couples were randomly selected to marry or renew vows on top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s Day, a 24-year-old tradition.

“When you know love is there it’s there,” said Brett.

PHOTO: Alixandra and Brett Epps celebrate after renewing wedding vows on Feb,14, 2018, in Manhattan, New York.ABC News
Alixandra and Brett Epps celebrate after renewing wedding vows on Feb,14, 2018, in Manhattan, New York.

Alix added, interjecting, “There’s no question."

PHOTO: Alixandra and Brett Epps are interviewed after renewing wedding vows on Feb,14, 2018, in Manhattan, New York.ABC News
Alixandra and Brett Epps are interviewed after renewing wedding vows on Feb,14, 2018, in Manhattan, New York.

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