Kidney transplant recipient thankful for support - Republic-Times | News

Kidney transplant recipient thankful for support

By on April 11, 2018 at 2:02 pm

Pictured, from left, are Nathan, Mike, Lisa and Lucas Goodsell. (submitted photo)

Mike Goodsell’s battle with kidney failure leading up to his transplant was unlike any other.

Diagnosed several years ago with a hereditary condition known as Polycystic Kidney Disease, the Waterloo man began having high levels of creatinine — a waste product that comes from kidney filtration — last year.

“When your numbers exceed six, they start talking to you about getting a transplant,” the 50-year-old said. “Normal is like .05.”

Adding to his concerns, Goodsell’s father and grandmother had suffered from the disease, leading to his grandmother’s death. Kidney enlargement occurs with PKD when cysts form in the kidneys.

With Goodsell’s kidneys bloating to abnormal sizes, doctors could not perform peritoneal dialysis by going in through the abdomen. 

The alternative method of dialysis would take months to properly start and was time Goodsell could not afford. Given the urgency of the situation, a number of friends offered to donate a kidney.

“I was amazed by how many people wanted to do that,” he said.

But Goodsell’s journey, marked by faith, eventually took a turn for the better.

After getting on the transplant list in March, Goodsell received a call from the hospital at the most opportune time. He and his wife had been on their way into Hope Christian Church when news of a match hit.

Having been on the transplant list for less than a month, Goodsell didn’t anticipate finding a cadaver donor for a couple more years. 

“I can’t use any other word to describe it than pure ‘miracle,’” he said, adding the congregation prayed over him before he left for the surgery.

While Goodsell’s new kidney appears to be fully functional, he is not out of the woods yet. The next step will be to go back in several months for surgery to get his failing kidneys removed.

“Normally, the bad kidneys will shut down, shrivel up and your body will absorb them. Mine have the potential to grow more and could even form cancerous cysts,” he explained. 

Goodsell said his health is returning and “every day is better.” Within a week, he said he hopes to be able to leave the house.

“It would be nice to get out and socialize,” he expressed.

And while Goodsell is out of work in the midst of a long road to recovery, he is encouraged by the recent outpouring of support from friends and family. 

His sister Marillyn Goodsell Fausz started a GoFundMe after the surgery that has since raised more than $3,500.

“There have been folks I can’t say I have a deep relationship with that have been so generous with their giving,” Goodsell said. “I really can’t even put into words how thankful I am.”

A retired Sergeant First Class, Goodsell served 22 years in the National Guard, including in Iraq. The 1986 Waterloo High School graduate and his wife, Lisa, have two sons — Nathan, 22, and Lucas, 18. 

Go to to help support the Goodsell family. 

Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years.