GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – April is Donate Life Month and Prisma Health is recognizing its first donor recipients.

This is after opening its own transplant center just last year.

Two men who have known each other for decades found themselves both needing a kidney transplant and, as former firefighters, they are now calling the people who made that gift of life possible their heroes.

Michael Robinson was Prisma’s first transplant patient.

“I was strong but it got me but I’m just glad to be here,” Robinson said.

He’s also a former first responder and was a firefighter for the City of Greenville.

“I traded in one third shift job for another third shift job. I went Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays and when I first started off I started with eight hours a clip,” he said.

He was on dialysis for 14 years before receiving his new kidney from a deceased donor.

“It’s like a new lease on life for me,” Robinson said.

Less than twelve hours after Robinson’s transplant, Rick Roach was receiving the gift of life as well. His came from a living donor.

“My kidney came from my niece who is my hero,” Roach said.

He also fought fires with Robinson and has been friends with him for years.

“So when I found out when I was in the hospital that he received a kidney it was another blessing for me,” Roach said.

Now, the pair is spreading the word about becoming an organ donor.

“I’m a donor myself I think everybody should be a donor because you never know,” Robinson said.

“The doctors who go through all this training and do it the nurses they take care of us they’re heroes to me,” Roach said.

According to Prisma Health, more than 119,000 people nationwide are on the organ transplant list. More than 99,000 of them are waiting on a healthy kidney.

You can become an organ donor through the state registry or at the DMV. Prisma also has information about becoming a living donor on its website.