York County company advertises for kidney with yard signs

WEST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, Pa. - A woman in York County needs a new kidney, but it could be several years before she can get a match. Her friend and former co-worker is trying to speed up the process in a unique way.

The employees at Colony Packaging & Machine are Doris Sterman's family. Well, second family, rather for the last 30 years.

"I wasn't going to leave then yet," Sterman said. "I'd probably still be here. If it wasn't for this. Cause that was my life."

Sterman stopped working at Colony Packaging & Machine back in 2016. Not by choice. For almost 30 years she's been living with Polycystic kidney disease. She gets dialysis 4 hours a day, 3 days a week. Sterman is now at the point where she needs a new kidney, and has been for more than three years.

"I mean I don't sit around and complain or moan about it because if it's to come, it'll come," Sterman said. "If it's to be it'll be. If not it won't. That's how you gotta get through this."

And she's got plenty of people by her side, and the pictures to prove it. Friend and former co-worker Deb Gatton helped Sterman get her job in 1988. It was she who also came up with a big idea.

"Like the past year or so I thought, 'oh there has to be something to get it out there because she wasn't getting any bites on a kidney donor'," Gatton said.

The signs outside of the company are not advertising a product or service, instead, requesting help. They read, "Kidney Needed - please inquire inside."

"Well I thought about it for a little bit and thought, 'well that's a good idea'," Sterman said.

In the four weeks the signs have been up, two women have made inquiries. Gatton, who got Sterman into the work family, might be the one to get her something greater.

"She's a very good person," Gatton said. "I think maybe we're on the right road for Doris."

Sterman was told the average time on a kidney wait list is seven years. She can't look to her family for a possible match because 18 of her family members suffer from the same kidney disease.

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