Cumberland Times-News

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February 12, 2012

For Confluence man, kidney donor was in the neighborhood

More than 112,000 in country await organ transplant


CONFLUENCE, Pa. — More than 112,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the U.S., according to Donate Life, a nonprofit organ, eye and tissue donation advocate. A significant number of those people are in need of a kidney transplant, and the average wait is one to three years. 
For one area man, his wait was shortened because of the generosity of a living donor. More than 6,000 kidney transplants were performed in 2010 thanks to living donors.
Everett Sechler, 61, was diagnosed with kidney disease in 1976. Fortunately, his disease progressed slowly and and he did not require dialysis until 2010. It was at this point he was placed on an organ waiting list.
A busy insurance agent and maple producer, Sechler opted to do at-home dialysis. Dialysis performs the work of a healthy kidney, cleaning the blood of toxins and waste. At-home dialysis al-lowed Sechler to complete the process at night. 
Sechler said he did not focus on the wait for a kidney, he simply adjusted to this new phase of his life.
During this time, several of his friends and family members underwent testing to determine if they would be a suitable match to donate a kidney, including his wife, Christine. None of these volunteers met the criteria, or they had existing health issues that eliminated them from donating a kidney. 
Sechler admits he was disappointed but maintained faith that a donor would soon be located. Little did he know that the donor was in his own neighborhood.
Sondra Waite, 59, is a native of the Confluence area but had lived in Texas for more than 30 years. She had recently returned to the area and had begun forging new friendships and renewing old acquaintances. 
Through her friendship with Sechler’s sister-in-law Loretta, she learned about Sechler’s condition. For reasons she cannot explain, Waite felt compelled to offer to donate one of her kidneys to Sechler. 

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