A Langley pastor is giving a piece of himself to a church member and close family friend.
And the gift of one of Pastor Mike Dauncey’s kidneys to west Abbotsford resident Florencio (June) Ancheta could be life-altering.
The Ancheta family including Florencio (June), May, and teenaged sons Josh and Jacob moved to the Fraser Valley from North Vancouver and became part of the local church community in 2002.
Ancheta and Dauncey, the associate pastor at Langley’s Church in the Valley, have been good friends since 2010.
In September 2015, Ancheta was diagnosed with kidney deterioration and was forced to stop working that December.
This caused the family great anxiety, as did the fact that Ancheta’s dad died at the age of 35 and his older brother died at 45 from the same disease, according to Dauncey’s sister, Dayna.
On Jan. 6, 2016, Ancheta’s doctor told him that he had to start dialysis or he would die.
“The doctor said to me my kidney is like a 90-year-old’s,” Ancheta said.
He was put on the kidney donation list but encouraged to look for a live donor as well because the wait for a kidney donor for type ‘O’ blood was roughly four to five years.
In the family’s search, they had the possibility of three different donors that eventually all fell through.
That changed about six weeks ago when Ancheta was asked to come in for some different tests and was shocked to find out there was an anonymous donor who was going to contact him about donating their kidney to him.
After eight months of testing it came back that Pastor Dauncey was a match to donate his kidney to Ancheta.
It was at a recent family meal that the Dauncey family shared with the Ancheta family exactly who the anonymous donor was.
“It was an emotional moment, for sure,” Dauncey said.
The kidney transplant is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2018 at St. Paul’s hospital in Vancouver.
The conversation Ancheta had recently with Dauncey is imprinted in his memory. Little did he know it was foreshadowing great things to come.
“He asked, ‘What kind of blood type are you?’ I said ‘I’m ‘O’ positive,’” June recalled. “I didn’t take it seriously.”
If this transplant doesn’t happen, Ancheta faces the harsh reality of being on continuous dialysis for the rest of his life. This would mean three hospital trips each week for the procedure, severely limiting his ability to work or travel very far.
Dialysis, explained Ancheta, is the process of cleaning a patient’s blood.
Dauncey is happy to make what he considers a small sacrifice that will make a big difference for his friend.
“I’m not giving my life to him; I’m giving him a part of my life,” Dauncey said. “It all does goes back to what God said. That’s the inspiration. Jesus, when he was on this Earth, taught us to live for others, to give. That was what his whole message was: to give to others.”
Dauncey refers to Matthew 7:12: ‘So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.’
“So when I found out that we had the same blood type, it got me thinking about it,” Dauncey said. “For the first couple of months, I didn’t do anything with it, I was processing it.”
Dauncey said his wife Marci, “who is also inspiring to me,” helped him make the decision to donate his kidney to Ancheta.
“When I think about what it would do for his life, that’s what inspires me. Two things: God, and the fact it will make his life so much better,” Dauncey said. “If I just give him my kidney, he can go back to work, he can have a regular life again.”
Dauncey also pointed out that getting a kidney from a living donor “statistically lasts longer” than one from a deceased person.
He urges others to become donors: “In my case, as a living donor, I will be able to see the difference and that’s rewarding.”
The pastor says he has never been a bystander and has always wanted to be involved.
”God has put it in my heart to do this, so June can have a regular life,” Dauncey said.
Ancheta is forever grateful to Dauncey for the chance at a longer life with his family.
“It’s like a new life for me,” Ancheta said. “When I heard that he’s the one who is donating the kidney, I was speechless. No words explain it.”