Transplant a success for newsman

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Former Goshen News Publisher John Gemmer is doing well after receiving a new kidney in December.

Gemmer was diagnosed in 2007 with chronic kidney disease and started dialysis in 2009.

There are five stages of kidney failure. When Gemmer’s disease was discovered, he was in the fourth stage.

He went on a donation list almost immediately after the diagnosis. During his three-year wait for an organ, he had three living people offer him their kidneys, and families of three deceased people tried to provide one too. Most people can function normally with just one kidney.

But for several reasons the available organs did not work out.

But in December, Gemmer received the right kidney from a 46-year-old man.

Gemmer will take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his life, he said.

After his operation, he returned to the hospital twice a week for the first month and then once a week for the second month. The checkups will keep decreasing over time.

Gemmer stressed the need for organ donors.

“There are two million people in the U.S. on dialysis,” he said. “Many will never get off. They are not healthy enough for a transplant.”

— The Goshen News

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