Giving A Gift Of Life - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Giving A Gift Of Life


A genetic disease can be tough on a family.

A child inherits the disease from a parent who had no intention of passing it on.

Polycystic kidney disease is one of those disorders.

If one parent carries the gene, a child has a 50 percent chance of developing the disorder.

A family can come together to help beat the odds, it's happening right here in the QCA.

On any given Saturday a party at a bar seems like business as usual. Except this party celebrates a very important gift from a sister in-law to a brother in-law.

"We bring them into our lives and they become family, and once you're a part of our circle you always are," says Mary Beth Murray.

Eric Burge has been a part of Mary Beth Murray's life for years now. Years he's lived with a disease slowly destroying his kidneys. Years she plans to give back to him with one of her kidneys.

"It's for Eric who has two children who are at the age I was when I lost my dad, and I feel if I can give them their dad longer than I had mine it's worth it," says Murray.

Mary Beth could not donate her kidney to save her father 20 years ago.

"I wish I would have had him here for so many different things in my life."

She couldn't donate her kidney to her sister five years ago.

"She was never healthy enough to receive a donation."

She can donate her kidney to Eric next week.

"It was a no brainer."

Her brother in-law Eric Burge says, "I'm just very fortunate to have somebody like Mary Beth..."

The emotions overwhelm Eric because of how quick this process has unfolded. He went on kidney dialysis about one year ago. When he asked about getting a new kidney, the University of Iowa said it would take four years.

"It's an incredibly humbling experience not only to have somebody get tested and see if they can go through with it, but to see the positive attitude and never waver," says Burge.

He says it's difficult to describe what his sister in-law's gift means to him. It comes down to one simple fact.

"She's a part of my life and now she's going to be a part of me," says Burge.

Giving his son and daughter a father for years to come.

The transplant surgery will take place next week at the University of Iowa.

Saturday's benefit will help allow the family to take off work to be there.

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