Communities rally around friend waiting for liver transplant

Argus Leader | Jill Callison

For weeks, Steve Haug's friends competed for the chance to drive him to Sioux Falls.

A failing liver meant twice-weekly trips to Sioux Falls for a procedure to remove built-up fluid in the abdomen. That meant five hours travel time and three to four hours while the procedure to remove 10 to 12 liters of fluid took place.

For 56-year-old Haug, though, picking up the phone to ask for a chauffeur probably was more difficult than the procedure itself, said his sister, Jan Voigt of Rapid City.

"It was hard for him, but he had many, many people offering to give him rides," Voigt said. "Picking up the phone to ask somebody to help was the hardest thing."

Haug's friends in the Willow Lake and Carpenter area aren't stopping there. They have planned a benefit for Sunday to benefit Haug, who has been unable to work for about a year. Haug worked in Child Protective Services for the state of South Dakota for many years before becoming a bookkeeper for the Wheat Growers cooperative in Carpenter several years ago. Continue reading