TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Dale Casto won't be counting on any more big gifts from his wife, Kathy, after what she's going to give him on their 35th wedding anniversary.
"I'm not going to expect anything for my birthday or Christmas," he told the Traverse City Record-Eagle (http://bit.ly/JWDBvp).
The transplant procedure is set for May 14 — the date of the Traverse City couple's anniversary — at Saint Mary's Health Care in Grand Rapids.
"You get a decent kidney, and you have so much more energy," said Dale Casto, who undergoes peritoneal dialysis, a blood-filtering process, five times a day.
The 60-year-old disabled police officer and designer-engineer has been on a deceased donor kidney transplant waiting list since 2009. He was diagnosed with diabetes in the early 2000s and learned he had kidney disease in 2008 after a pre-operative exam for eye surgery.
Doctors told him then his kidneys were functioning at about 28 percent. By March 2009, that function was down to 5 percent, Casto said.
His family, including the couple's three grown children, offered to donate a kidney, but because diabetes could someday compromise the children's organs, they were discouraged from getting tested.
That left Kathy Casto as the lone candidate from the immediate family.
"I knew she was the same blood type, so I knew there was a possibility there," said daughter Angela Mikowski, 33. "I was thankfully surprised that she made it through the screening. I always had hopes that somebody would come through."
Kathy Casto, 53, learned her kidney was a match for her husband Feb. 13, when she opened an email from the transplant center.
"I copied it that night and put it in a Valentine's card and gave it to him," she said. "He doesn't say a lot, but he got choked up and went in and showed our son."
She said the transplant is expected to cost more than $260,000. Colleagues at Tendercare Traverse City, where she is a business office manager, held a fundraiser Friday to help pay for out-of-pocket costs.
Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, http://www.record-eagle.com