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Published May 28, 2012, 11:30 PM

Adopted cousin donates kidney to Dilworth native

DILWORTH – When Josh Croonquist was told he would need a kidney transplant, he knew the list of possible family donors would be short. His parents had already advanced beyond the recommended age to donate. His only brother was not a correct blood match.

By: Wendy Reuer, INFORUM

DILWORTH – When Josh Croonquist was told he would need a kidney transplant, he knew the list of possible family donors would be short.

His parents had already advanced beyond the recommended age to donate. His only brother was not a correct blood match.

His sister-in-law was a match but still young and starting out in life, so 35-year-old Croonquist and his family decided she should be a last resort.

“I was just looking for anyone that might match,” Croonquist said.

Cousin Andrew Hagen stepped up first, despite the chances of a match being slim.

Hagen was adopted from Argentina as a very

young child.

Croonquist said he was honored but not surprised his cousin would volunteer a major organ to him.

“It’s huge. He’s that kind of person anyways; I think he would have done it for almost anyone that needed it,” Croonquist said.

“It’s surprising still. I don’t know how I’ll ever thank him.”

Hagen, who lives in Minneapolis, could not be reached for comment.

The disease was found by chance after Croonquist suffered an allergic reaction to shellfish in December 2010. During tests, doctors found Croonquist suffered from a degenerative kidney disease, meaning he would need a transplant to survive much longer.

Croonquist, a Dilworth native and graduate of

D-G-F schools, received the successful kidney transplant in February.

He recently returned to his job at Manning Mechanical in Fargo.

While Croonquist’s family stepped up to find him a kidney, the Dilworth native’s hometown is now stepping up to support him in the aftermath.

A silent auction and spaghetti lunch is planned Sunday at the Dilworth Community Center.

Mayor Chad Olson said it’s a matter of the small town coming together for one of its own.

“A lot of people have been working on this,” he said.

Proceeds from the benefit will go toward Croonquist’s accrued medical costs.


If you go

What: Lions spaghetti dinner and silent auction for Josh Croonquist

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Dilworth Community Center

Info: Donations can also be made by clicking on “donate online” at www.dakmed.org/lendahend or by mail to United Savings Credit Union, P.O. Box 2308, Fargo, ND 58108.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530

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