York County mom given a second chance at life

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MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa.-- Sheila Beichner needed a kidney transplant and her doctor said time was of the essence. She was on the donor list, but that could take more than 5 years. Beichner could also wait and go on dialysis.

"It causes other serious illnesses that eventually other times people won't be able to get a transplant," she said.

In 2015, Beichner would be told by her doctor that she needed a transplant within a year or she could die. Her husband and son couldn't believe the news. Her husband said she didn't look sick or ill, and her son was concerned, asking her if she was going to die. Beichner told him  she was not going to die and was going to fight it.

She joined a support group for her illness. This where she met Lisa Little in 2015.

"Throughout the weeks, I could see her getting a little more weak," Little said.

Little eventually learned Beichner needed a kidney transplant. Little underwent about two months to tests to see if she could be a donor.

"I just can't imagine if that was me," she said. "I would want someone to test for me so I could spend more time with my daughter."

She said she had to have blood drawn several times, x-rays, and several other steps to see if she would be a donor candidate.

Then came the day Little called Beichner.

"I called her and I just told her, 'how about a date with my kidney on May 13th,'" Little said.

"I'm like, 'what are you talking about?,'" Beichner said. "It was crazy."

Beichner and Little were complete strangers before this, and now they have grown to be close friends. The surgery will be on Friday, May 13th. The odds of a perfect stranger being a donor match for someone is 1 in 100,000. To put that in perspective you have a better chance of being hit by lightening in your lifetime.

For more information on organ donation and how you can register to be an organ donor visit the donate life website or The Gift of Life website.