Organ Donation Brings Two Men Closer Together

“I never dreamt at 38 years old, your kidneys would fail,” says Travis Hartsoch.

It started off as a joke-Hartsoch posted a Facebook message. If you know of anyone who wants to spare a kidney, let me know, I can use one!

Little did he know, he would receive a response. 

“I knew I was O-positive so I thought oh, maybe there’s a match here,” says Brandin Foos, Hartsoch’s kidney donor.

Hartsoch and Foos knew of each other. They occasionally saw each other around town, had some friends in common.

But now, they share something far greater.

“There’s nothing more than having an organ of somebody running your body, running your system,” says Hartsoch. 

About half of the state population is a registered donor, meaning their organs are donated when they pass away. But with a nationwide organ shortage, there is also a need for living donors. 

“There was another person in the hospital with us who didn’t get to thank anybody. The only reason they were there is because someone died. And the next day when Travis walked into my room, it made me feel pretty good. I was kind of emotional.,” says Foos. 

Two months ago, the men had surgery and Hartsoch received his new kidney. But he also got something else out of the experience. 

“The most wonderful thing you can do is give the gift of life. And I would rather have this second chance at life than winning the lottery,” says Hartsoch.

He took away with him a second chance at life, but also a new lifelong friendship.

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