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Facebook Fate: Bedford Co. man receives life-saving organ donor

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BEDFORD, Pa. -- A Bedford County man will soon be receiving a life-saving organ transplant, thanks to the power of social media.

6 News first brought you this story back in September. A New Paris woman donated her kidney to a woman she didn't even know. They met through a simple Facebook post.

The man who shared that post, Mark Nave, was in need of a liver himself. In fact, during our September broadcast, he was inside Mount Nittany Medical Center due to complications.

Now, Mark is preparing for the surgery that will save his life.

"You're saving a life. I mean, what greater honor is there than that to be able to watch someone's life change?" asks donor, Shanda Goodrich of Bedford County.

It was a change Nave needed desperately. "They thought I was dying," he recalls of his doctors diagnosing him with stage four liver failure in November of 2011.

While his own health declined, he didn't let that stop him from putting someone else above himself.

"I needed a liver and I knew I needed a liver but I wanted to help Shirley first," he says.

Shirley Di Simone, of Tampa, Florida, needed a kidney.

Mark shared a post, asking friends and strangers for a donor for his friend. Michelle Zipp of New Paris, saw that post through Mark's cousin, Sean. The rest was history and in August, Michelle donated her kidney to Shirley in a Florida hospital.

Now it's Mark's time.

"I was like, I can't believe it. I can't believe this is happening because who would be that giving to give a piece of them so freely?" Mark says of his donor, Shanda.

Through a Facebook post, Shanda saw Mark's request for a donor and she felt a bigger calling.

"I'm actually friends with Michelle on Facebook," Shanda says. "She happened to share the post and as soon as I saw it, I was like I have to do this."

Shanda and Mark are heading to Duke University Hospital for the February 15th surgery feeling a little anxious but overall grateful.

"Well of course I can never repay her," says Mark. "I'll always be in her debt. I've never met someone with such a large, caring, and giving heart."

When asked about organ donation and if someone should do the same, Shanda has this advice.

"You're saving a life and that life can change so many other lives. Just by saving that one, you n ever know how many others you're changing."

Before Mark and Shanda head to North Carolina, there is a spaghetti dinner and silent auction fundraiser to help with medical and travel expenses.

The event is Saturday, February 6th from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Everett Church of God on 11152 Lincoln Highway. It's $8 per person, $6 for kids 10 and under.

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