Because of You, I Lived: Organ Donors, Recipients Honored in the Valley

Sanford Health put up a Wall of Donor Heroes at their downtown Fargo location

FARGO, N.D. — Organ donors and recipients throughout the Valley are being honored.

Sanford Health put up a Wall of Donor Heroes at their downtown Fargo location.

“I’m just happy to start looking forward to life again,” said Jeff Ficek, who was the recipient of an organ donation.

Ficek was diagnosed with an arthritic condition at the age of 17.

For years, the medication he took for treatment helped give him a better quality of life, until it took its toll on his kidneys.

In February of 2015, he was put on an organ donation waiting list.

He was on it for almost a year until his golfing buddy, Jeremy, decided to give the ultimate gift.

“He had a gift bag and in the gift bag was the can of kidney beans,” Ficek said. “He said, ‘I just found out that we’re a match’. Unbelievable blessing for me and my family. Goes without saying that Jeremy is an incredible person.”

The two men are not blood relatives but Jeff says this is just the kind of guy Jeremy is.

“As I understand, from his family and his mother, that’s just the way he is,” said Ficek. “He’s just a real helpful guy. Wants to help people out.”

Health officials said the organ donation vastly improved his living conditions and prevented a blood dialysis.

He’s even getting back into the swing of golfing with his donor and friend.

As for the new organ, Ficek¬†says it’s working very well.

“I’m just happy to start looking forward to life again,” he said.¬†“It’s been that way for a few months where I feel really good and start looking forward to other things besides the questions that both my family and I had.”

People like Jeff and Jeremy are being honored on Sanford’s new digital Wall of Donor Heroes.

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