Brookfield company helps local man

BROOKFIELD – A local company has come to the assistance of area man who is in need of a kidney transplant.

TMK IPSCO Co. presented a $500 check to Joshua Weidner, 20, of Greenville, Pa., who is need of a kidney transplant. In the meantime, he goes to dialysis three times a week.

He said in the spring of 2011, he woke up one day feeling ill with swelling in both of his legs. His family doctor sent him to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he learned his kidneys were only functioning at 20 percent and failing.

As to the $500 check, Weidner said he was overwhelmed and appreciative.

“It’s incredible that somebody wants to help someone that they don’t even know. I really appreciate all that they would do that,” Weidner said at this week’s presentation at the TMK IPSCO building.

Kathy Hodgkinson, human resources manager at TMK IPSCO, said an employee had heard about Weidner’s story and wanted to see if the company could do something to help him and his family.

“His story really touched us. He had just graduated from high school and was needing a kidney transplant and is facing so much for someone of his age,” she said.

Hodgkinson said there have been various fundraisers by the employees including a pepperoni roll sale which it is continuing to be held.

Tammy VanSickle, Weidner’s mother, said her son has waited for more than a year for a kidney transplant and is on the list.

Weidner, a 2010 graduate of Reynolds High School, said he learned he was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis or FSGS and takes medication to help his kidneys function better in addition to the three times a week dialysis.

VanSickle said the donation is appreciated and will help with expenses the family has faced. She said the family, relatives and friends have held fundraisers to cover expenses for travel and when the kidney becomes available. She said insurance will cover the $250,000 cost for the transplant.

Hodgkinson said the company often helps individuals and organizations in the local community and has made $3,000 in donations every quarter to the Trumbull summer enrichment program for special needs adults and has also adopted a highway cleaning up and taking care of the area.