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Fargo resident makes public plea for kidney donation

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FARGO — Because of a hereditary kidney disease, retired MSUM janitor Dallas Gunkel needs a transplant. He came to WDAY TV hoping to find help in locating a donor that can save his life.

The story begins at the front steps of WDAY. Every day we get emails and phone calls from people with story tips. However, few people take the time to walk up the steps with a plea for help.

After he brought reporters his story, they joined Gunkel at a dialysis appointment in south Fargo. He has been receiving dialysis treatments three times a week since March.

"My kidneys function less and less and less," he said.

The many appointments for dialysis make it hard for Gunkel and his wife to travel or plan much else.

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"It is constant; I have to watch what I eat," Gunkel said. "(It's) tough to live."

All this has brought him to making a public appeal. He is in search of a living donor, someone willing to give him a kidney.

Insurance would cover all the costs involved.

"I am an O (blood type) and an O can give to an A, but an A cannot give to an O. An O is universal," Gunkel said.

There is a benefit to getting a kidney from a living donor. Right now, Dallas could get a call at any moment from Mayo Clinic where he is on the list to get a kidney from someone who has died. But if he gets a living donor, he can schedule the transplant.

Those interested in helping Dallas Gunkel can email their information to maefitz@gmail.com .

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

Contact Email: kwallevand@wday.com
Phone Number: (701) 241-5317
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