The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

December 19, 2013

Pella resident gives a sacrificial gift

It all starts with a chain reaction. An impression of sacrifice and humility, passed from one person to the next, creating a ripple effect. At Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines this year, gracious participants in kidney donations caused a chain reaction, resulting in Pella resident Dixie Roorda deciding to give her own kidney to a special someone.

It all started with Lance Beyer’s story that was aired on KCCI Channel 8 News this past January. Beyer, also of Pella, was in need of a new kidney and received a donation from a stranger. As Roorda sat in her living room and watched the story unfold about Beyer and four other donors and recipients, she felt compelled.

“I saw that and I thought, ‘Wow, I wonder if I could do that.’”

Several years ago, one of her coworkers and a church family member’s brother needed a bone marrow transplant. Several employees banded together and signed up on the bone marrow registry. Roorda unfortunately was not a match for her friend’s brother. Beyer’s story reminded her of the time she tried to be a donor to someone in need, and his story moved her. She told her husband, Don Roorda, a retiree from Pella Corporation and the Iowa National Guard, that she once again wanted to try donate and be a match for someone in need.

“It meant so much to me. I just felt like it was a God thing. I felt like I needed to do this,” Roorda said.

There were a lot of unknowns and question, but Roorda felt in her heart that she needed to see if she could donate a kidney. As an employee at Madison Elementary at the Pella Community School District, she knew she could take some time off to undergo a kidney surgery.

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