By Celine Klosterman
MUSCATINE — A charity golf tournament May 22 combined two things Father Marty Goetz, vocations director for the Davenport Diocese, is passionate about: golf and organ donation.
The 43-year-old priest spoke briefly in Muscatine at the Iowa Transplant Open, a benefit to raise funds and awareness for organ and tissue donation. Five months earlier, he had donated a kidney to his sister, Martha Riney.
Fr. Goetz recounted how in June 2009, he was playing golf when his mother left four voicemails on his cell phone about Martha’s need for a kidney. Tests later showed the priest was well suited to be a donor for his sister. “Everything matched up,” he said. “We were truly blessed.”
Others who need a donation haven’t been so fortunate. Fr. Goetz said that while in the hospital, a doctor brought bad news to the priest’s roommate, who was scheduled to receive a kidney after waiting for one for four years. The kidney turned out to be damaged, the doctor said, so the patient wouldn’t receive the transplant after all.
About 107,000 people in the United States are now on a waiting list for an organ or tissue donation, Fr. Goetz said. “It is my hope tonight that many more people will be blessed. We’ll fight hard until everyone is as blessed as my family has been.”
To register as an organ and tissue donor, visit www.iowadonorregistry.org.