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Brotherly love
Madetzke on mend from kidney transplant; benefit planned for Saturday
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

May 09. 2013 9:50AM
Doug Madetzke was just a year and a half old when his parents, Greg and Nita, learned their son had an unusual disease at such a young age, Type I diabetes.
So when classmates passed out birthday treats in school, Doug had to forgo the candy treats and opt for an apple instead.

“It was a lot more structured life,” says the 34-year-old who resides in Tea with his wife, Jill, and two stepchildren, Zach, 15, and Aubrey, 13. “And it comes with the territory. The U.S. Department of Health says that 44 percent of kidney failures is related to diabetes.”

“At that time, the doctor said within 10 years they would find a cure,” recalls his mother, Nita.

While a cure to eliminate diabetes is yet to be discovered, Madetzke considers himself somewhat fortunate. “I lasted a lot longer than they thought; 15 to 25 years is generally the point of kidney failure,” he said.

It was in November 2012 that Madetzke said his kidneys began shutting down, making him a candidate for both kidney and pancreas transplants. He started on dialysis until recently, when a match was found for the kidney transplant.

The match was younger brother, Andy, 29.

“Andy wanted to get tested right away,” he said.

Prior to the April 10 brother to brother kidney transplant at the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Madetzke said he was “tired all the time and had started to become anemic a couple years before … but I didn’t have the pain that comes with it,” he said.
He avoided the pain through proper diet, he said. Along with the anemia, his blood pressure also took a sharp hike along with his bun and creatinine levels.

In November of last year, he underwent surgery to have a peritoneal catheter placed in him so he could do his dialysis in the comforts of his own home. And it was in mid-December, following a battery of tests, that he was finally approved for the transplant at Mayo.

The April 10 surgery was doubly hard for Greg and Nita Madetzke, who had two sons in surgery.

“It was very emotional,” Nita says of the time spent in the waiting room.

The worrying, it turns out, was for naught, as the kidney immediately began working and both sons are recovering well. Doug, in fact, has surprised doctors by being two weeks ahead of his recovery schedule.

Today, Madetzke is off dialysis completely.

“It’s nice not having the tubes,” he admits.

Each day, he says he’s becoming stronger, and hopes to return to work in the next week. He’ll start working from home before transitioning to the FIS office, where he works as a business analyst.

“I can’t wait to go back,” he said. “I’m getting bored.”

While Madetzke’s kidney transplant has been a success, he now has to wait four months before returning to Mayo for further testing for a pancreas transplant.

“First, I need to recover. Then, it’s just waiting for a phone call,” he said.

The pancreas will come from a deceased donor. If the pancreas transplant is successful, Madetzke will no longer have to take shots of insulin, which the pancreas produces. “Mine obviously hasn’t worked since I was 1 ˝,” he said.

Because insurance does not cover all of his transplant-related costs or costs incurred for dialysis treatments Doug needed while awaiting surgery, friends and family have come together to organize a benefit. It’s planned for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday in the commons at Brandon Valley High School. Doug and his family will be at the benefit.

Nita Madetzke says her family has been overwhelmed by the kind gesture.

“It’s unbelievable and overwhelming. There are so many people that are helping out,” she said.

Doug echoes her sentiments.

“It’s really crazy to think about the community, family, church, everybody getting together for this,” he said. “It will help us greatly – anything will help.”

While Madetzke has health insurance, it has not covered all costs.

Madetzke is also thankful for a brother willing to step up.

“It’s hard to put into words. What do you do to say ‘thank you?’ ” he said. “We’ve always been close, and speaking for Andy, I think he was glad to help out.”
What: Doug Madetzke Kidney & Pancreas Transplant Benefit (lunch, kid-friendly games, activities, raffle and silent auction)

When: Saturday, May 11 – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Brandon Valley High School Commons

Donations: May be made to “Doug Madetzke Benefit” at Wells Fargo Bank, 1228 E. Holly Blvd., Brandon

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