Our Neighbor: Monsignor Mark

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by CYNTHIA IZAGUIRRE / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on February 1, 2010 at 12:42 PM

DALLAS — Carrie Gehling has always been a faithful woman, and it finally paid off.

"I haven't felt this good since high school — and that was over 25 years ago," she said, adding: "We'll just leave it at that."

Gehling has battled diabetes for most of her life. She lost part of her left leg, had four heart attacks, and spent more than a decade on dialysis.

"Desperate, very desperate," she said. "They had basically given me two more years on dialysis and that was it."

After years of getting turned downed for a kidney transplant, Medical City Dallas finally agreed to the procedure — with the provision that Gehling find a kidney donor.

Monsignor Mark J. Seitz is pastor at St. Rita Catholic Community in Dallas, where Gehling worships. When she asked him to pray for her, he took it a step further and got tested as a possible donor. It was a match.

"It's been a tremendously rewarding experience," Seitz said. "A way God has given me to feel closer to the Lord that I serve that didn't only give a kidney, but his whole life."

"He is truly a man of God," Gehling said.

Two months after receiving the gift of health, Gehling prays daily for other North Texans who are on transplant waiting lists — from children to adults.

"I encourage anyone who has been given the gift of good health to share what they have," the monsignor said. "We'll have a link for the rest of our lives."

And that's why we name Monsignor Mark Seitz of St. Rita Catholic Community "Our Neighbor."

If you know someone we can feature in a future "Our Neighbor" report, contact Cynthia Izaguirre at the e-mail address below.

E-mail cizzy@wfaa.com

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