DES MOINES, Iowa –After being born with a rare disease, doctors believed 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. At 22 I had kidney failure because I had reconstruction on my urinary tract,” said Blanchard.
Blanchard was able to find a kidney donor when a family member was a match.
“Back then being 22 years-old I thought my life was over and of course my brother came in without hesitation and saved my life,” he said.
That was back in 1997, but within the last few months the replacement kidney started to fail and Shane 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. Everything just kept working out and it was really kind of amazing to me,” said Brad Hendrickson.
Hendrickson is now scheduled to give Blanchard his kidney on July 31.
“I mean, knowing him, he did fine for all those years but then when he started to go into failure and on dialysis that’s when it made it real for me. There’s nothing you can really do for someone that’s sick except pray for a miracle which can happen anytime; but to be able to be a match to help him live longer that is pretty cool,” said Hendrickson.
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,” he told Hendrickson.
The new kidney is expected to last anywhere from 10 to 20 years.