No match for friendship: Two men bound by the gift of a kidney
How to help
A benefit dinner to help pay for Randy Licht’s medical bills is planned for 5 p.m. Feb. 20 at Evergreen Country Club in Elkhorn. The cost is $12. For information, call Diane Flitcroft at (262) 742-2016.
For information about becoming a living organ donor, visit MatchingDonors.com. The database is a nonprofit used by doctors and transplant centers nationwide.
More Walworth County news
For breaking Walworth County news and hourly updates, visit the WalworthCountyToday.com home page throughout the day.
Randy Licht, left talks about what it has meant to him to receive a kidney from his friend, John Tritz . About five weeks ago, Tritz donated the kidney to Licht, who has been suffering from kidney disease since 2002. Terry Mayer/staff.
ELKHORN — This January, even more than a new year, Randy Licht is pondering a new life.
About five weeks ago, Licht, diagnosed with end-stage renal failure, received a kidney from John Tritz, a former co-worker who wanted to help.
The transplant was successful, and Licht is grateful for his health, the best he’s felt since 2002.
Both men had worked at B.R. Amon during the early 1980s. Their sons were good friends, competing in high school wrestling and hunting together.
When the two men bumped into each other at a local auto parts store late last winter, Tritz hadn’t seen Licht in about four months, but he was shocked at how pale and stunted his friend looked.
Even after they’d said good-bye, Tritz kept picturing Licht.
“It was almost like he was giving up on life,” Tritz said of his friend. “I can’t see somebody going through the pain of life when it’s that serious, so you’ve just got to do anything you can to help.
“You just live your life and assume everything’s fine and in reality, he’s going through hell at night, not sleeping, hooking himself up to this machine. I’m thinking, ‘I can do this. There’s no reason for him to be going through this kind of pain.’
“I got his phone number and thought, ‘God willing, if I’m a match, I’m in.’”
Licht was flabbergasted by the offer. “I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ He said, ‘No, I’m serious. Tell me what I’ve got to do.’”
Read the full story in the e-edition of Walworth County Sunday, HERE.