The power of friendship: woman helping friend find a kidney in Dauphin County

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HUMMELSTOWN DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. -- When a friend is more like family, some people will do anything to help in times of struggle, and that's exactly what a woman in Dauphin County is doing for her friend.... helping her find a kidney.

Two friends brought together by their children now call themselves family, spending time and creating memories together in Hummelstown, Dauphin County.

"She’s like a sister to me," said Karen Zemitis of Hummelstown.

"Just seeing her face with a smile on her face, and every time she comes over, she brightens my day," said Sheila Kieffer of Hummelstown.

Sheila Kieffer says she needs those smiles.

“Every day is a struggle, and just getting out of bed is a struggle for me," she said.

She's suffering from stage 5 Polycystic Kidney / Liver Disease.

"Watching her go through this is terrible," said Karen.

The disease causes massive cysts to develop on Sheila's organs and the deterioration of her kidneys and liver.

"Just getting up in the morning and taking a shower is a struggle," explained Sheila.

She’s already had a successful liver transplant and survived colon cancer.

However, her kidneys are only working at 14 percent, and she needs to find a donor soon

“She'll get her energy back and function, no dialysis because that's coming soon too," said Karen.

Four people stepping up so far but no matches due to their own health issues.

“I got a liver, so I know there’s a kidney out there for me," said Sheila.

Sheila feels a tremendous amount of hope, hoping to be there for her husband, her two sons, and her fur babies who help get her out of bed each and every day.

“I know there’s somebody out there who will help me, who will help me with a kidney," said Sheila.

"Just cross our fingers and hope it gets out there," said Karen.

Karen created a Facebook page for Sheila which tells Sheila's story.

Sheila gets treated at Hershey Medical Center, and Amy Wildasin is the Transplant Coordinator-Living Donation.

People can contact her at 717-531-6092 or 1-800-525-5395. If you wish to contact Sheila  directly: 717-649-4571 or

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