A Miracle Kidney: A sign that changed lives

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Thousands are on the kidney transplant list, waiting for a miracle.

Last year, we told you about Dennis Dyk, whose condition was worsening.

And his wife was doing everything she could to find him a donor.

Dennis had been on dialysis for years.

It's all fun and games now, but the Dyk's journey to find a kidney wasn't easy.

They were looking for a sign.

"After that TV airing, my cellphone was going off the hook.," said Marian Dyk.

Dozens of calls and then, "Through the grace of God; you know, Larry came forward," said Marian.

April 16 is the day Dennis's life changed forever.

Larry Ressler said, "Me and Dennis swapped the part."

Gratitude doesn't even begin to describe.

"It's the best thing that ever happened to me. I met somebody that was willing to give a kidney to a complete stranger," said Dennis.

Strangers turned into friends with scars connecting them for a lifetime.

"And now I guess I'm family," said Dennis.

Changing each other’s lives through a connection many can't say they have.

Marian said "It has given us a new life."

The Dyk's search also dealt out fortune for others.

"He was not far from dying if he didn't get a kidney," said kidney donor Eric Beeman.

Beeman, who says Dennis already had a kidney but he decided to donate any way.

"It's just a life changing experience for me, for my family, my daughter has a lot of times said, I think it's a really good thing you did dad. Like, you're my hero, you know?" said Beeman.

He, like Larry, became heroes for strangers.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services there are more than 7,500 people in the Midwest; including North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa waiting on a kidney transplant.

Nationally, more than 100,000 people are on the waiting list.

In North Dakota, 156 people are currently waiting. This year, 29 kidney donations have been made.

The donors and the Dyk's say North Dakota is a great place with great people. They hope this story inspires others to step up to the plate and do the same.