WAYNE, NJ – Long-time Wayne resident, Harry Stricker is searching for a good Samaritan to help save his life. After a battle with kidney cancer fifteen years ago, Stricker had one kidney removed. In March of 2020, his remaining kidney began to fail and now a living kidney donation may be his only chance.
According to the kidneyfund.org, “Nearly 100,000 people are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. Many more people are waiting for a kidney than for all other organs combined. Unfortunately, the number of people waiting for kidneys is much larger than the number of available kidneys from living and deceased donors.”
Most kidney donations are from deceased donors, but a healthy kidney from a living donor is a much better option, and could be the only option for Stricker and his family.
A living donor is someone with two healthy kidneys who is willing to give one of them away out of pure altruism, or maybe to accrue karma.
From the kidneyfund.org website: "Recipients of a living donor kidney usually live longer, healthier lives compared to those who receive a deceased donor kidney (a kidney from someone who has just died)."
Stricker is on the transplant list at both St. Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey and at NYU Langone in New York. But, the list for deceased donors is long and, according to Stricker, "can take from 5 to 10 years."
He is 71 years old and the cutoff for deceased donor transplants is 75. So, Stricker knows that his best hope is a live donor transplant.
With a loving, supportive wife, five children and thirteen grandchildren, Stricker has a lot to live for. He is taking what steps he can to stay healthy and goes to dialysis three times per week.
“The whole procedure takes about four hours,” he said. “It’s quite exhausting, but I usually feel better on non-dialysis days.”
When he has the energy Stricker can still follow his passion for golf. But, because of the pandemic, he has had to curtail his biggest passion in life: spending time with his 13 grandchildren.
“Pre-COVID we tried to attend as many of the kids’ sporting events as possible: football, baseball, hockey, wrestling and lacrosse,” he said. “Family get-togethers used to be a large affair but lately we mostly stay home.”
Being a kidney donor can save a life, and Stricker and his family is hoping it’s his life that’s saved.
- Organ donors need to be in good health, without high blood pressure, kidney, heart, liver or other major health issues. It’s not so much about someone’s age, as it is about their health that determines their suitability. Having the same blood type is not a major issue to overcome.
- The new anti-rejection drugs have made “matching” of donor/recipient much easier. If the donor/recipient are not compatible, kidney paired exchange programs allow these donors to be paired and matched with other incompatible pairs.
- All medical expenses are paid by the recipient's insurance company. It is legal for the donor to be reimbursed for any lost wages, travel or post-transplant care expenses that they might incur.
Stricker’s family asking for help from the Wayne community to share this information with everyone.
If you, or someone you know wants to learn more about the donation process, email him here: HS3550@optonline.net
Wayne Township has always been known for its volunteerism and for its community spirit. Will one resident step up and make the ultimate donation? TAPinto can’t wait to write about this person and recognize and celebrate this selfless act.