Man saves best friend’s life through kidney donation

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(KETK) – An Iowa man is counting his blessings after finding a kidney donor match for the second time in his life.

After being born with a rare kidney disease, doctors thought Shane Blanchard wouldn’t be here right now.

“I was born without abdominal muscles. So even when I was born I had rare prognosis of surviving, they gave me till the age of 14 to live and of course I beat that and at 22 I had kidney failure because I had reconstruction on my urinary tract.”

Shane Blanchard

That first kidney failure came in 1997 and Blanchard’s brother stepped up to give him one of his kidneys.

“Back then being 22 years old I thought within the last few months I thought my life was over and of course my brother came in without hesitation and saved my life.”

Shane Blanchard

More than 20 years later, however, that replacement kidney had started to fail in the past few months.

Blanchard was on the waitlist again, until his best friend since middle school checked to see if he was a match.

“My first initial thought was ‘I’ll see if I’m a match and honestly I thought that was the farthest it went and everything just kept working out and it was really kind of amazing to me.”

Brad Hendrickson

Hendrickson is now scheduled to give Blanchard his kidney on July 31. And Blanchard says he does not take that for granted.

“Brad, I mean you’re one hell of a guy, there’s nothing I can ever say; thank you is never going to be enough. But seriously man, I love you, and thank you for this.”

Shane Blanchard

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