Local man finally gets kidney donation after long search

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 10:04 PM CST
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OSKALOOSA, Iowa (KYOU) - A local Oskaloosa man has something to celebrate -- life.

Shane Blanchard calling his recent kidney donation a “whole new life,” adding that he’s no longer “tied to a machine 10 hours a day. I’m not going to doctors appointments every other day. It’s a completely different life.”

Blanchard has been on a long search for a kidney in Southeast Iowa saying it was hard to find a donor, and unlikely he would find a deceased donor with the stipulations he was facing.

He would put out daily calls to Facebook hoping he would one day find a match for a kidney. Now, thanks to a family member, Blanchard was able to get that life-saving donation back in November.

“Here in November I recently got a kidney because my cousin donated a kidney on my behalf. One of the things that was hard for me to find a match is because I have such high antibodies it’s hard for me to find a match. So, what he did is he donated through the National Kidney Registry on a living voucher which moved me to the top of the list. Seven days later to the day I got a kidney. It was pretty much a perfect match,” Blanchard shared of his cousin while speaking with KYOU.

His cousin Jeremy Hauser is grateful that he could help Shane in such a special way saying: “We’ve spent a fair amount of time as children together and I’ve always looked at him and his brother as someone that I emulated being younger than them with sports. As he was going through the kidney failure and needing a kidney. I knew it was going to be difficult to find a match for him. So I started doing research about the process and how it works and what I could expect. And I just really felt a pulling effect on my part to do what I could to help Shane.”

Blanchard says his cousin’s kidney donation was what helped make him a priority on the transplant list after getting his first transplant in 1997. And then a second kidney, lasting him only 13 days.

His campaign for a new kidney largely took place on Facebook saying that made all the difference in bringing awareness to his cause.

And for all of the people who brought awareness to his cause? He has a message for them saying: “Even someone sharing a post or sharing my need of an advertisement or commenting and those types of things bring attention to stuff out there. All of those people played a part in spreading the word and helping me get a donor. I just can’t thank anybody enough for what they did for me.”

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