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Offline Karol

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Walmart employee ready to give boss the gift of life
« on: February 25, 2011, 12:46:46 PM »
Walmart employee ready to give boss the gift of life
Published: Friday, February 25, 2011, 6:07 AM     Updated: Friday, February 25, 2011, 9:19 AM
  By Ursula Zerilli | The Grand Rapids Press

Theresa Pearson, a shelf stocker at the Grandville Walmart, will be donating her kidney to her assistant manager Jeff Goodale.
GRANDVILLE — Assistant manager Jeff Goodale has been assigning Theresa Pearson, a shelf stocker, some extra duties during their normal night shift at the Grandville Walmart store.
“He jokes that he is going to work that extra pound off me,” Pearson said.
Pearson, 42, needs a body mass index of 30.0 before she donates her kidney to Goodale. Her BMI is currently 30.2. She has already lost 15 pounds and has been waiting and testing since September.
They’re hoping for a March transplant date.
Goodale, 50, has been waiting more than two years for a new kidney. Once a patient’s name is added to a kidney transplant waiting list, there could be a five-year wait before they get into an operating room.
Knowing this, Goodale expected to wait another three years for the transplant. Then one night at work, Pearson told him that she’d give him one of her kidneys.
“I knocked him over with that one,” Pearson said, laughing. “Jeff and his family have given so much that giving up a kidney ain’t nothing.”
Goodale, of Grandville, spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He has served on five different submarines and was deployed during the first Gulf War and Operation Desert Storm. His 24-year-old son is serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and his 26-year-old daughter has served two tours in Iraq for the U.S. Army.
“I work with him and I can’t just sit back and say I’m not going to try to help,” Pearson said.
Goodale was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease five years ago. Only 2 percent of his kidneys are functional due to the debilitating disorder. His father and older brother suffered from the same condition.
“There’s no way to slow it down or stop it,” he said.
Goodale hooks up to a dialysis machine for nine hours every night. He has used it to filter his blood — a function his kidneys used to perform — for two years.
“We started this last fall with all of her testing and there’s been some delays, so I’ve been anxious,” Goodale said.
Pearson admits that she is frustrated that the doctor’s approval has been offset because of her high hemoglobin levels. She is willing to cut sugar out of her diet permanently if it expedites the transplant.
Pearson’s twin sister, Tina Morgan, has assured Pearson that if she ever has medical problems related to her kidneys, Morgan can help her.
“We can just help each other so it wasn’t as scary for us,” said Morgan. “If you would know her, she’s a big chicken so I am just proud of her.”
Morgan is a Vision Center optician at the Grandville Walmart. She is a friend of Goodale as well.
“I just want to do everything I can do to help Jeff. He is such a nice man. It is hard to see him sick,” she said.
Goodale’s daughter, Heather, partnered with Michigan Blood to arrange two blood drives in honor of her father. Snowy roads led to a low donation turnout for the blood drive in January, but they hope for a better turnout at this Saturday’s event.
Any donations of type-O blood will be used for the transplant. Goodale has O-positive blood and Pearson has O-negative.
If a blood transfusion is needed during the surgery, they won’t be charged if blood is used from the donation pool. The remaining donations will be used to help other patients.
Goodale will not need dialysis after the transplant.
He looks forward to swimming again and playing with his grandson after the operation.
“What Theresa is doing is amazing,” Goodale said. “ I don’t know what to say to her to thank her.”
E-mail: uzerilli@grpress.com

Daughter Jenna is 31 years old and was on dialysis.
7/17 She received a kidney from a living donor.
Please email us: kidney4jenna@gmail.com
Facebook for Jenna: https://www.facebook.com/WantedKidneyDonor
~ We are forever grateful to her 1st donor Patrice, who gave her 7 years of health and freedom


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