abc
QUICK LINKS:

Hermantown Man Searches for Life-Saving Transplant

Updated: 04/18/2014 10:53 AM
Created: 04/18/2014 8:19 AM WDIO.com
By: Brittany Falkers

Matt Massie is a true outdoorsman and it's hard for this 27-year-old to pick his favorite activities.

"All the adventures around the Northland from hunting and fishing and being on lake superior," he said. 

However, a life-altering disease is holding him back from bigger adventures.

"To be able to take a week-long trip again would be great because dialysis holds ya down," Matt said.  "You can't venture away to far."

He's suffered from kidney disease since he was a child, but in 2009 he went into renal failure and needed a new kidney.  He told WDIO about the experience a year after it happened.

"I thought it was pneumonia, having trouble breathing.  Found out my kidney had shutdown.  Causing my lungs to fill with fluid and stuff like that," he said in a 2010 interview.

Doctors said he'd be waiting a long time, but in 2010 a complete stranger stepped up - donating his kidney to help save matt's life.

WDIO spoke with Matt's mystery donor, Scott Jenkins, back in 2012, after the donation.  He was running Grandma's Marathon to raise awareness about organ donation.

"I had the opportunity to test for him and fortunately I was able to donate.  It's an easy thing to do when there's someone in need," Jenkins said. 

Unfortunately, a series of infections knocked out that new kidney donated by Jenkins.  That put Matt back on the transplant list and he is still waiting for a new healthy kidney.

"You feel bad and almost guilty," he said.  "Because you got this amazing gift and everybody wants it to work, but it's out of your hands really."

Now, about four years later, Matt is still waiting.  Part of that means that three times a week, four hours at a time he undergoes dialysis.

"It's like another job, except there's no vacation and you don't get paid," Matt said.  "It takes a lot of time and energy.  You never know how you're going to feel afterwards.  It's just a roller coaster, the whole thing."

While Matt says he is grateful dialysis is keeping him alive, a new kidney is the only option for this outdoor lover to get back to the things he loves.

"I've gotten a lot better attitude about it now and I'll get another opportunity eventually, but hopefully sooner than later."

He's keeping that positive attitude, fishing and hunting as much as he can as he waits for that life-changing gift.

"The phone could ring any day, that's just the mind set you need to have.  Like any day now, it could happen," Matt said.

All of that time on dialysis makes it hard for Matt to work very many hours and with unforeseen future costs, bills can really add up.  That's why  friends are raising money with a benefit.

The benefit for Matt Massie is coming up Sunday, May 4 at the Green Mill in Duluth's Canal Park from 1 to 4 p.m.

For more information on Matt's story and how to get involved with organ donation visit his Website HERE.

Front Page

  • Alleged Wisc. Bank Robber in St. Louis County Jail

    A man was arrested in Duluth Saturday night after he allegedly robbed a bank in Eau Claire, Wisc. the night before. The Eau Claire Police Department responded to a bank robbery at Wells Fargo Bank in Eau Claire on Friday night.

  • Licenses, Deer Population Down for Wisconsin Deer Opener

    The Wisconsin firearm deer hunting tradition got off to a safe start as Department of Natural Resources officials said they had received no reports of accidental shootings or other injuries by mid-afternoon Sunday on the opener of the state's nine-day gun deer hunt.

  • Northlanders Give Back in Preparation for Holiday Season

    Northlanders gave back on Saturday in preparation for the holiday season. It was Family Volunteer Day at the Duluth Library, and folks participated in several friendly projects.

  • "By Us, For Us" Meeting to Discuss Vision for Equity in Duluth

    Duluth's Native and African heritage communities came together on Saturday to share experiences and ideas at the 1st United Methodist Church. The meeting called "By Us, For Us" invited people of color, African Americans and Native Americans to come together to break bread and learn about each other culturally. 

  • MNsure Enrollments, Renewals Approach 8,000

    Minnesota's health insurance exchange says it has enrolled nearly 8,000 Minnesotans in health plans in the first week of open enrollment this fall. The deadline for enrolling in coverage that takes effect Jan. 1 is Dec. 15.

 

Freezing Rain Advisory

MN AREAS AFFECTED: East Marshall; East Polk; Lake Of The Woods; Mahnomen; North Beltrami; North Clearwater; Pennington; Red Lake; Roseau; South Beltrami; South Clearwater
Expires: 11/24/2014 12:00 AM

Dense Fog Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Ashland; Bayfield; Burnett; Douglas; Iron; Price; Sawyer; Washburn
Expires: 11/24/2014 12:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Bayfield; Douglas
Expires: 11/25/2014 6:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Ashland
Expires: 11/25/2014 8:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Iron
Expires: 11/25/2014 8:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

MI AREAS AFFECTED: Gogebic; Ontonagon
Expires: 11/25/2014 7:00 AM

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement