A Chiver pays it forward, donates kidney to a complete stranger (9 Photos)

Mike Dodge is an extraordinary individual. He's the kind of person who has always wanted to help. His friends describe Mike as the kind of guy who would show up at your new house and carry your couch up six floors and ask what was next. If your car broke down, you called Mike.

So it came only as a mild shock to Mike's friends when Mike decided to donate his kidney to a complete stranger.

But let's back up for a moment.

It all started with a 30 year old man named Tyler Weig. Tyler heard the story of husband and wife, Lance and Julie Beyer. Lance needed a kidney transplant but Julie was an incompatible donor - she had a different blood type. With Lance's condition growing worse, Tyler stepped up.

Tyler Weig decided he would donate his kidney to Lance; an Altruistic Donor who didn't know the recipient. Tyler's wife Julie, in turn, committed that she would also donate her kidney to a random patient in need. And just like that, Tyler Weig's random act of prodigious kindness sparked a pay-it-forward movement that would become the largest kidney-paired donation chain in Iowa history.

Mike Dodge heard the story of Tyler and Lance and brought himself into the chain. With 532 people on Iowa's waiting list for kidneys, surely he was a match for somebody. That match was quickly found in Nick Titus, a 22 year old from Des Moines who had suffered from kidney disease since the age of 10. By the time Mike and Nick were matched, Nick was "Not doing very well."

Mike's friend Corby Dodge recalled the day Mike told him he had contacted the kidney donation center in Des Moines and signed up to be an Altruistic Donor. Corby asked Mike if he was certain he wanted to part with a kidney. Mike had already donated bone marrow and stem cells, and responded: "Look, there is a 3% chance I will need my second kidney but a 100% chance somebody else needs it today. I'm doing this."

The day of the operation, Mike put on his Bill Murray Tee, his Chive hat, and went in for surgery. Mike admitted the process was "a little bit brutal," but well worth it. In three days, ten operations saved five lives.

Mike's brother told us: "Mike gives a whole new meaning to giving. It takes a while to heal but he's doing well now. Mike is such a huge fan of theCHIVE, as you can see from the pictures. He embodies the Chivers' pay-it-forward attitude. It would make his year if he saw his story on the website."

Dr. Cass Franklin, director of the transplant program at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, cleverly pointed out how much one person can make a difference. He said, “It all started with ONE humanitarian donor. This allowed for the entire pay-it-forward process.”

Here at theCHIVE we’ve recently been publishing many Random Acts of Kindness. Due to theCHIVE’s massive reach, we’ve noticed that pockets of generosity always spring up around the first act. One day, we’ll get dozens of submissions from Atlanta. The next day’s explosion of goodwill will come from Chicago.

Dr. Cass was right. Where there is one random act of kindness, there are others. The recipient will often pick up the torch and carry the light forward just as Mike did. Here’s to you, Mike. Proud to call you a Chiver.

Like this post?

  • Russ

    Well done Mike. You are an inspiration to me and others to go out and make a diference in this world. KCCO!

  • Mr_Ward

    This all around awesome!

  • Leigh

    A true Chiver!

  • Tom

    Cheers. This made my day!

  • Alex

    What an absolute legend, we need more people like this on this planet

  • Magic Mike

    Who says Magic isn't real?

  • CosmoKramerTheAssMan

    Fuckin' A. That's all.


  • Amy

    Please donate $5 to this mini chiver so she can achieve her smile 🙂


  • MichaelBoom

    One of the best things I have seen on The Chive site…. Just wow!!! Gets me choked up… KCCO

  • Andy

    Kudos Mike! I have been going through donor evaluations for the same thing. My information gets presented to the transplant committee tomorrow. Any advice if I get approved?

  • peterver

    The guy is just an f*ing hero. Just saying. My hat off to you, sir!

  • briankutys

    this guy fuckin rocks… Chive on Brother!!

    who's cutting onions???????

  • GonePostalWV

    Great job… I'm on the transplant list myself, so far it's been a four year wait, but acts like this give me confidence that it's just a matter of time. I started kidney dialysis April fool's day in 2009 but managed to keep my walking mail route for almost 3 years before having to finally retire from the Postal Service last year.

    If you are unable to be a living donor , please at least fill out your organ donor card at your local DMV. Remember , you can't take your kidneys with you… but they sure are needed here. KCCO

    • Jesus Christ

      I can't believe that everybody doesn't do this. In PA it costs a buck to put the symbol on your license so they can use your organs immediately should you get in some kind of fatal accident. What are you going to do with them after you die? Nothing. You can save a whole bunch of peoples lives, kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, intestines, bone marrow. Silly selfish people.

  • Kdogg

    Great job deff my hero

  • Canucks_Rule

    #9 – u rock!!

  • http://twitter.com/indychuck11 @indychuck11

    Inspiring, I would like to say, given the chance, I would do the same. My grandfather had cancer in one of his kidneys and had it removed. We don't have the same blood type or I would have given one of mine to him. I am very happy to hear of someone so gracious to give an organ to a stranger and both walk away in great condition. My heart goes out to both families.

  • kcford

    How much does a kidney weigh? I'm trying to cut weight anyway…

  • E.Zeigher

    I'm an organ donor. Please be like Mike and be one also.B)

  • benlac

    I love people like that. These are the kind of people that inspire me to be like them. Awesome job Mike, Chive on!

  • brookside199

    ..as a person about to be placed on the kidney transplant list …I commend the actions of all these individuals…completely selfless….KCCO!


    the English language hasn't evolved to a point that can adequately describe your awesome-ness! What.A.Man! Speedy recovery buddy 🙂

  • Jesus Christ

    Might consider this. Couple people in my family, including myself, have had health problems, nothing involving a transplant, but been in and around the hospital enough to understand what it means to those recipients. You only need one kidney anyway. KCCO brother.

  • kidneyboy

    Very cool! In 2004 I was the recipient of a kidney from a woman I met on the internet on a website dedicated to helping those needing to those wanting to give. I have had almost 9 years of EXTRA life from that altruistic stranger who is now one of my best friends.


    I am new to theCHIVE and I just had to say God bless you man for what you did. Right when I think we are lost in this world I saw this and really gave me hope!

  • Test


blog comments powered by Disqus
Back to the top