Two CentraCare employees will be forever connected thanks to a decision to give. Marianne Steichen has been battling kidney disease for 17 years and has been on a kidney transplant waiting list since 2018. She says in April she learned a coworker of hers had decided to give her the gift of life.

“I mean I’ve had other people get tested and it just never worked — so I was hopeful but I waited until she actually got the word that she was approved before I thought okay this is gonna happen I’m gonna get my life back.”

Kimberlie Gramsey says she was touched after seeing Steichen’s story posted on CentraCare’s website and says it was about a year later when she decided to see if she was a match:

“We weren’t an exact match but we were able to be paired inside the national kidney donation registry and match up that way.”

Gramsey says because of the pairing program, Steichen was finally able to receive her new kidney. The surgery was performed back in September and both are doing well in their recovery. Steichen says it’s been an emotional journey and she will be forever grateful for the generosity Gramsey showed her family.