DIGITAL ORIGINAL: From helping others to needing help, this nurse needs a kidney

Local News

A woman from Ashley, ND is pleading for a kidney.  She says, “Be a hero and donate an organ. If not to me, to someone in need.” 

58-year-old Cheryl Goehring found out in 1994 she had polycystic kidney disease, which is cysts with sac-like fluid on the kidneys. She thought everything was normal when she went in to get her gallbladder checked. After getting the diagnosis, she then went to the Mayo Clinic and they told her to watch her weight and protein and sodium intake. 

She explains she is missing chromosome 16, one of the body’s 46 chromosomes in each cell. The missing chromosome means the disease she has is inherited. 

She made it 26 years with no ill effects, but in April of this year, her life changed dramatically. She had an odd abdominal pain and thought she had a urinary tract infection. She was wrong.

Being a traveling nurse for so many years, she thought she knew how to take care of herself and was surprised when she found out she had diverticulitis, an infection or inflammation of pouches that can form in your intestines and colon.  

“I’ve been taking care of myself and so it’s weird how, boom, I just got this,” said Goehring.  

The diverticulitis infection began to affect her kidneys, so she began taking dialysis treatments in Bismarck. In July, she was able to do her treatments at home. 

Today she says she is feeling well. She still comes to Bismarck monthly for her bloodwork testing.  She has an off day every once in a while but, overall, she is able to function. 

She is still maintaining a healthy diet, carefully watching her intake of phosphorus, phosphates, calcium and sodium. She practices portion control and is continually studying ways to eat a nutritious meal. 

Moving forward, she believes in the saying, “a squeaky wheel never dies.” So Goehring made a sign to post on her car with her name and contact information and a call to action to donate a kidney. 

Since she is blood type O, it’s been difficult to find a match. But she still continues to hope there’s one out there. 

One donor can save 8 lives she says.  Will the hero be you? 

If you are or someone you know is interested in helping Cheryl, call her at 701-321-1494.

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