National Donor Day: Son gives his father the gift of life

Local News

February 14th, Valentine’s Day, is also National Donor Day.

Steven Haner says his dad is his best friend so when the time came to help a friend in need, he says he knew just the way he could help.

“He’s done so much that I owe him everything,” said Steven Haner, kidney donor.

23-year-old Steven Haner says his dad has been there every step of the way throughout his life. So, when is father—51-year-old Brian Haner—was told in June 2018 his kidney’s were failing, Steven knew he had to help his father out.

“I wanted to do whatever I could to help him feel better, whatever way I could possibly,” said Steven.

His father says he felt a little guilty having his son donate his kidney, but was thankful he did.

“It was pretty exciting finding out he was a match. It was going to be a long road if he wasn’t, you know, there is a long waiting list,” said Brian Haner, kidney recipient.

And a long waiting list it is. According to Donate Life Pennsylvania, there are more than 8,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

“Although people can be living donors for kidney transplants, it is still one of the highest throughout the country,” said Janelle Rzodkiewicz, donor coordinator.

As for Steven, he says he doesn’t regret a thing.

“I felt it was a great procedure. The doctors here were amazing, the entire process through it all was fast,” said Steven.

The Erie SeaWolves stopped by UPMC Hamot to give the father and son tickets to the upcoming Donate Life game in April where they will throw the first pitch. They also gave them SeaWolves swag like t-shirts and other memorabilia.

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