Dozens of Channel 3 viewers and followers have reached out to offer help to a local man in need of a liver transplant.
His story was shared on Eyewitness News recently, and at least 60 people have reached out, offering to donate their liver if they are a match, including Megan Sakowski, of West Hartford.
"After I watched it, I couldn't stop thinking about it,” Sakowski said.
After she saw Mark Stiber’s story on Channel 3 about his battle with liver cancer, she knew she immediately wanted to help.
"I didn't tell my mom or my husband or anyone. I just said I'm going to call and this guy needs to live. That's all that I thought about,” Sakowski said.
She wasn’t alone. After the story aired, viewers tied up the donor line at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
In total, 60 people called to volunteer to be a donor.
"It really hits me right here because there's people out there that care, people that I don't even know,” Mark Stiber said.
"The outpouring from your viewers is just absolutely amazing,” his wife Nina Stiber added.
While they're optimistic, they realize finding a perfect match can be difficult, given that 40 potential donors in the past haven't worked out.
But match or no match, the Stibers said they are so grateful for the selflessness of complete strangers.
"It gives us hope. It definitely gives us hope that this is going to be okay,” Nina Stiber said.
As Sakowski and others fill out their paperwork and wait to undergo testing, she's praying that she or someone else can give the gift of life to Mark.
"No matter who it is...me or someone else, I just hope that gets to live the next year and the next year,” Sakowski said.
Time is really of the essence. If the cancer spreads beyond Mark’s liver, he is no longer a candidate for a transplant.
To be a donor for Mark, there are a few requirements including you must be blood type "a" or "o", healthy, have a normal BMI, and under 55 years old.
Mark's insurance company would pay for all the donor's medical expenses and the couple has pledged to pay for things like lost time at work.
You can follow updates on Mark's journey via Facebook, here.
Anyone interested in donating can contact Yale-New Haven hospital at 866-925-3897.
To learn more about their story, click here.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up and can be found here.
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