By Gabe Licht
MINNEAPOLIS, MN When Tony Schaust, of Delano, needed a kidney, fellow Delano resident, Steve Dahlman, wanted to help.
Unfortunately, Dahlman wasn’t a match.
However, he was a match for a stranger in New York.
With the paired exchange program, Dahlman was able to donate a kidney to that individual, and a donor in New York donated a kidney to Schaust.
Schaust received the kidney during a successful transplant surgery Nov. 4, 2014.
In recognition of Dahlman’s life-saving action, he was given the opportunity to throw out the first pitch for the Minnesota Twins June 6 during Donor Day.
“Because of Steve’s generous gift, Tony is now living a happy and healthy life, and the person in New York, the recipient of Steve’s kidney, is also living a new life,” the announcer said while introducing Dahlman.
Before the pitch, former Twins player and manager Frank Quilici gave Dahlman a few pointers.
Quilici had started his career with the Twins in 1965. He played second base and appeared in the 1965 World Series, as well as in the 1967, 1969, and 1970 seasons.
In 1971, Quilici became a coach for the Twins and, in 1972, he was appointed the new manager until 1975.
Quilici’s appearance was significant, as he is a kidney recipient.
In 2008, Quilici was diagnosed with high blood pressure, which caused his right kidney to completely fail and his left kidney to function at 15 percent capacity.
Quilici was able to manage his decreasing kidney function until he received a kidney from a loving, family friend named Elizabeth.
As Dahlman prepared to take the mound, the announcer added, “Today, we applaud Steve and people just like him all across Minnesota who generously give the ultimate gift and change someone’s life forever.”
For more information on kidney disease and transplantation, visit www.kidney.org.