2 Syracuse, Nebraska, men seal friendship with kidney donation


MEGAN SMITH/THE WORLD-HERALD. Dan Masters, far left, his wife, Liza, and daughter Chloe stand beside Joe Reisdorff, his wife, Christa, and son, Truman, at a ceremony at Nebraska Medical Center on Friday recognizing living kidney and liver donors. The families from Syracuse, Nebraska, have become close friends since Joe received a kidney from Dan.
Joe Reisdorff and Dan Masters had crossed paths before.

They’re from the same small town of Syracuse, Nebraska. They go to the same church. Masters works at the local hospital, and Reisdorff volunteers on the Syracuse Rescue Squad.

But they had never shared a meal or set up a play date for their kids.

A few months ago that changed.

In late November, Reisdorff and Masters were both recovering from surgery at the Nebraska Medical Center — Masters’ kidney in Reisdorff’s body.

They visited the Omaha hospital on Friday for a ceremony recognizing living kidney and liver donors. More than 1,000 kidney transplants from living donors have been performed at the med center since 1970. Kidneys from living donors tend to be of better quality and last longer, doctors say.

Reisdorff, 29, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease about eight years ago.

Reisdorff, who works with farmers to improve soil quality, was doing his job one day when he started feeling lightheaded. His eyes rolled back and he nearly passed out. Doctors diagnosed him with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a disease that attacks the kidney’s filtering units and leads to kidney failure. He took medication to slow the disease but knew a kidney transplant was looming. Continue reading