Man Finds Kidney Donor Match With Help From Friend

An Iowa man is counting his blessings after finding a kidney donor match for the second time in his life, but that match was a lot closer than expected.

After being born with a rare disease doctors believed Shane Blanchard shouldn'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 til 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," said Blanchard.

Blanchard was able to find a kidney donor.

"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," Blanchard said.

That was back in 1997, but within the last few months the replacement kidney started to fail and he was on the wait list again. Then, 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," said friend 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.

And Blanchard says he does not take that for granted.

Both men credit a lot of their upbeat attitude to their faith.

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