A Remarkable Gift

Detective Shane Pierce delivering check donation to local charity from Guns and Roses event.

Lake Ozark Police Detective Shane Pierce cares about his community. He mentors youth in his community through a Police Kids Academy. He started a Coffee and a Cop program. He organized a Guns and Hoses charity basketball game. He’s even appeared as McGruff the Crime Dog at many community events.

So, when Detective Shane Pierce developed kidney disease, someone in his community decided to return the favor and chose to care about him after reading about his need for a kidney donor on his Facebook page.

A member of the Lake Ozark community, Courtney Powell, a wife and mother of four children, is donating a kidney to Shane. Courtney heard about, and was touched by, Shane’s situation and decided to see if she was a match. She was.

Courtney Powell and Shane Pierce. Photo courtesy of Amy Wilson, Lake News Online

The detective was diagnosed with with IgA nephropathy (Berger’s Disease) in August 2015. “I really wasn’t having any symptoms that made me think I had a possibly fatal disease,” he says. “I tell everyone that I just figured since I was 40 years old, that I was naturally getting a little slower, more tired – and fatter!”

Shane admits that he had high blood pressure and wasn’t exactly a compliant patient when it came to taking his medications. “My primary care physician said she would not refill my Lisinopril if I didn’t come in for fasting labs. That is when we learned my creatinine level was 4 times higher than it should have been. She then scheduled me with the specialist.”

Shane was sent to Barnes-Jewish Hospital for treatment under the care of Dr. Benjamin Humphreys, Chief of the Division of Nephrology at Washington University. “I was very happy to move my treatment to Barnes, they have been great,” says Shane.

Shane Pierce and family

After the diagnosis, Shane says he was either in shock or didn’t quite understand the implications of the news. “When I would tell people, they kept saying ‘I am so sorry’. I remember thinking why would you be sorry, what’s the big deal? Once I started reading a little bit, it sank in. I tried to buy as much life insurance as possible and really had to start thinking about what would happen if I weren’t here anymore.

Shane has been on peritoneal dialysis since May of this year. “I chose that over hemodialysis because I felt like doing my treatment at home would make life seem more normal as opposed to sitting in some depressing room at a hospital.” He recently contacted Dr. Humphreys to update him on the good news about the kidney transplant, which will take place at Barnes in November of this year.

“I hope us sharing our story sheds some light on kidney disease and living organ donation,” says Shane. “I know I was woefully ignorant when it came to organ donation until I needed an organ. It’s a remarkable gift to give someone, to give them the gift of life, and I think there are plenty of people who would if they understood the process and how much it means to the recipient. If sharing my story convinces one person to help another, I will be happy!”

About, Cortney, the donor of his soon-to-be new kidney, Shane says, “Cortney is a wonderful person. I feel blessed to know her. I don’t think you can ever adequately say thank you.”

One of Shane’s favorite community projects is the Lake Ozark Police Youth Academy, a two-day camp for ages 9-15 that he started in 2011. “We cover many aspects of policing and show them what it’s like to be an officer. It’s a great way to connect with the youth and show them you are just a normal person. It builds relationships that last into high school and beyond.”

One of the students, an 11-year-old boy, went door to door and raised $300 for “his favorite officer” when he heard that Shane had kidney disease.

We wish Shane, Cortney and their families all the best with the upcoming transplant. Visit Shane’s Facebook page, A Kidney for Shane, and the following links for other articles about Shane and Cortney, A Kidney for Shane: An Eldon Mom Steps Up (Lake News Online) and Lake area community member donates kidney to local police officer (13KRCG).