A new life: Kidney transplant puts hockey fan back in the game

WCF Courier | Kristin Guess

MATTHEW PUTNEY / Courier Photo Editor
David Mahncke and wife Amanda Mahncke pose during a Waterloo Black Hawks game at Young Arena. David received a new kidney in November from a living donor who saw his story on Facebook.

WATERLOO | Last year David Mahncke, a 29-year-old Cedar Falls native, was preparing for one of two possible treatments for kidney failure — dialysis or a kidney transplant. It had to be one or the other; Mahncke’s kidney was shutting down.

At the age of 16, Mahncke was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy, a kidney disorder that occurs when the IgA — a protein that helps the body to fight infections — settles in the kidneys. Last April, he was told his kidney was functioning at about 15 percent and was diagnosed with stage 5 kidney failure.

“Since I am so young and had health on my side I was able to go longer before beginning dialysis,” Mahncke said.

Mahncke and his wife, Amanda, were told the wait could be two to five years for a cadaver kidney. This also meant the young couple could not travel more than four hours away from Iowa City in case a kidney became available.

"You have the power to SAVE lives."
To register as a donor in California:
www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org | www.doneVIDAcalifornia.org
Outside California:
www.organdonor.gov | www.donatelife.