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Donor Story

Rev. Michael's Living Donor Story

Rev. Michael Fischer, 53 | York, PA / Donor

Several years ago, I was captivated by a national news story describing a living kidney donor chain. I never knew that donating one kidney could trigger a “chain reaction” and improve the quality of life for multiple people. I did some research on it, but then my wife, Rose, and I moved across the state. She was busy with her job, and I was settling in as a chaplain at Country Meadows Retirement Communities.

The idea of donating returned in early 2015 when I saw another news story about a living kidney donor chain. This time I contacted PinnacleHealth’s Transplant Center. Over the next few months, the transplant team educated and helped us work through all the questions, fears and “what-ifs.” At the same time they gave me the best physical I have ever had to make sure my health wouldn’t be compromised by donating a kidney.

Next the team used comprehensive protocols to identify a good match for my kidney. My recipient also had a loved one who was willing to donate a kidney and in that way a donation chain was created.

After my surgery on August 25, 2015, I learned my donation triggered the hoped-for chain reaction with six people receiving kidney transplants. We were blessed in many ways, too, including the love and support of friends, family, coworkers, our employers and the entire team at the transplant center at Harrisburg Hospital.

Though I may never know who received my kidney, I am blessed with the peace of knowing that many lives were transformed by my gift.


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