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Living donor changes local lives

December 3, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

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From left, Mark Weinman of Nebraska donated part of his liver to Edward Rice of Penn Township when Edward’s wife Sandy posted information about his need on Facebook. The procedure was conducted in July through UPMC.

It’s the season of giving, and some gifts mean more than others.

For Edward and Sandy Rice of Penn Township, a gift from a stranger meant the world. The stranger was Mark Weinman from Hastings, Neb. The gift was a piece of his liver.

“There’s people out there who are ... willing to help,” said Edward Rice, who received the liver transplant through UPMC in July.

“The end result is just so wonderful,” Sandy Rice said.

The Rices were living in Florida around 2016 when Edward was diagnosed with liver disease.

While medical professionals in Florida told Edward he should get on the transplant list for a new liver, he simultaneously was told he wouldn’t be approved to receive one.

The Rices were told their best bet was to move back to Pennsylvania, where they would have access to the UPMC transplant system. They did just that in 2018.

“We were on the list,” Sandy said. “(But) it was going to be a while before he could get a cadaver (liver).”

“There’s just not enough livers,” said Dr. Abhinav Humar, chief of transplantation for UPMC. “The need is actually increasing.”

This is an excerpt from a larger article that appears in Friday’s Butler Eagle. Subscribe online or in print to read the full article.

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