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Published November 04, 2011, 10:00 PM

ND National Guard sergeant donates kidney to fellow guardsman

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Donating a dollar or ten here and there is one way many of us give back. But few of us would reach out to a friend in the way one North Dakota National Guardsman did. When Sargent Francisco Raatz was on his way to the operating room last month, there was no second guessing what he was about to do.

Donating a dollar or ten here and there is one way many of us give back. But few of us would reach out to a friend in the way one North Dakota National Guardsman did. When Sargent Francisco Raatz was on his way to the operating room last month, there was no second guessing what he was about to do.

Sergeant Francisco Raatz – ND National Guard: “It wasn't a hard decision at all to go through and help John out.”

Specialist John Chase noticed something was wrong while on a two-week leave with his family at Disney World in 2010.

Specialist John Chase – ND National Guard: “I was having trouble using the restroom, I was getting bloated, and I felt pregnant.”

After multiple trips to multiple clinics, doctors finally realized his kidneys were shutting down. When Raatz first heard the news, there was little he could do.

Sergeant Francisco Raatz: “I thought about it then that maybe I should get tested. But being in Afghanistan, I had to wait until I came home.”

After coming home and clearing it with the military, Raatz got tested.

Specialist John Chase: “By a miracle he happened to be a perfect match.”

The September 27th surgery was smooth sailing. The recovery has been tough, but Raatz is already back on full duty.

Sergeant Francisco Raatz: “It feels good to do that and to give him back a normal life again, being able to do the things that everybody else can do.”

Now with a little piece of the Sergeant with him at all times, Chase is hoping he will pass next year's medical review board and once again be full time in the North Dakota National Guard. Both men are with the North Dakota National Guard's 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment.

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