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New donor wall is unveiled at Sanford Medical Center

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FARGO — Sanford Health is celebrating the generosity of those who've given the gift of life.

There are now hundreds of names on a newly built wall, many of which are stories of tragedy turned triumph and second chances at life.

The Wall of Donor Heroes shares the stories of nearly 200 life-changing donors.

One of those stories is that of Jeff and Jeremy.

Jeff Ficek was given another chance to sharpen his golf game and enjoy all the things failing kidneys threatened to take away from him.

"I can start looking forward to other things besides the questions both my family and I had," says Jeff.

He spent nearly a year waiting for a kidney.

With dialysis seemingly unavoidable, his golfing buddy, Jeremy, donated one of his kidneys.

"There's nobody better than Jeremy," says Jeff.

At Thursday's wall unveiling, the two were surrounded by patients, friends and families who have all been touched by organ donation.

However, for many, there is no Jeremy.

More than a dozen people die each day waiting for a life-saving donation — a number Sanford says doesn't need to be.

"I really can't think of any reason someone wouldn't want to be a donor and give the gift of life to someone else," says Sanford Executive Director Susan Jarvis

Sanford and Jeff hope others will consider giving someone a second chance.

If you're interested in becoming a donor, find out more on the North Dakota or Minnesota DMV websites.

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