The Castlewood-St. Paul Observer | Josh Sawyers
Richie Waddell was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12. He knew that someday he could face serious organ failure as a result of his disease, but he and his wife Vanessa were caught off guard when, at the age of 27, he learned that his kidneys were failing and he would need a transplant.
“It hit us pretty quickly,” Richie said. “One month I was feeling pretty decent, and then it was time for a transplant. It makes you worry, especially when they tell you that dialysis doesn’t work for everyone.”
Richie and Vanessa had been trying to start a family for years and had already suffered through a miscarriage. Now they could only focus on keeping Richie alive long enough for a transplant.
“We had a hard time praying while he was on the transplant list,” Vanessa said, “because we knew that in order for him to get better, somebody had to die.”