(WEAU) - It's been one year since we shared the story of a local man hoping and praying to receive a kidney transplant through starting a kidney donation chain.
Shane Schernitz of Stanley has been fighting for his life since he was 18 years old. He was diagnosed with Good Pasture's Disease causing him to lose function in both his kidneys. But, his dream of receiving a kidney is becoming a reality.
"Unexpectedly they called and said we feel you guys are ready,” said Shane Schernitz.
For the Schernitz family, life hasn't always been easy. Shane, his sister, Amber, his wife Mary and the entire family have spent the past 5 1/2 years looking for a miracle kidney.
"We know its coming but it’s one of those things that you've waited for so long and you've been told no so many times. You kind of adapted of the way of everything,” said Shane.
Being diagnosed with Good Pasture's Disease, Shane was left with only a 2% chance of getting the perfect kidney.
"Every single day, every single night, we're sitting there praying. we pray multiple times a day, waiting for this moment,” said Shane's wife, Mary Schernitz.
"We found out I was a perfect match a couple years ago. Matched all 6 points that they looked for that basically my kidney is a clone or twin of his,” said Amber Klonecki, Shane’s sister.
But Amber had to lose weight and improve her blood pressure before donation day.
"I lost 30 pounds. I've been there since day one. I was his caretaker for quite a while. I've seen him at his complete worst. I've basically seen him on his death bed,” said Amber.
Yet, in November they felt the time had come to see if the transplant would be possible.
"Out of 100's of people that got tested for me, she was the last of the Mohicans to get tested. She was the one,” said Shane.
"It feels good but scared, I don't want it to reject you know. I'm nervous for him, not for me,” said Amber.
But the family rejoiced in hugs and smiles before the Schernitz family left for Madison on Tuesday. With the donation day being Thursday, the day they've been waiting for is finally within sight.
"We've never been able to be a normal couple to sleep in, to eat whatever we want or anything without having to check it with doctors,” said Mary.
But the story doesn't end there. The family does hope to continue the hopes of starting a kidney donation chain.
"I still have a perfectly good kidney to give,” said Mary.
“When we walk in the hospital that's when I'll know it’s really real and there's no turning back. My day's finally come," said Shane.