Versiti - Chad Dunning | Impact Stories

Chad Dunning

“When you get a second chance at life, when you wake up in the morning and the sun is shining, you know it’s going to be a good day.”

Chad Dunning

Chad Dunning was coming in from doing yardwork when he began to feel unwell. He noticed blood in his stool and went to the emergency room, where doctors told him it was a bout of colitis. The next day, he saw his G.I. doctor, who thought he might have gallstones and scheduled him for a procedure to remove any stones in the bile ducts of his liver.

During surgery, however, doctors discovered that Chad had primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a disease-causing bile duct inflammation and scarring that eventually leads to liver failure. Its only cure is a liver transplant.

Chad spent nine years on the liver transplant waiting list, undergoing procedures every six weeks to open up his bile ducts. In early September 2014, he began feeling unwell and was admitted to the hospital. “My doctor said, ‘Over the weekend, I’m going to find you a liver,’” Chad says. “That weekend on September 7, they came in and said they had a potential liver for me.”

The next day, September 8, 2014, Chad underwent a 12-hour liver transplant surgery.

Now, in his job with Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin’s donor services, Chad is passionate about making connections with Versiti blood donors and spreading the word about organ and tissue donation. “The first thing you have to do is educate the community,” he says. “That’s my main thing, even with blood donation. A lot of donors don’t even know what they can do and how many lives they can save. 

Today, Chad is grateful for his donor hero, Molly, and her precious gift. “When you get a second chance at life, when you wake up in the morning and the sun is shining, you know it’s going to be a good day,” he says. “You have a totally different perspective on life from going through that journey.”

Every 10 minutes, someone is added to the organ transplant waiting list.

Approximately 113,000 men, women, and children are waiting for life-saving organ transplants. One organ donor has the power to save up to eight lives and change the outcomes of someone’s world forever by giving them a second chance. Additionally, tissue donation can save and improve the lives of up to 75 people with their gifts. You can make a huge impact by registering as an organ and tissue donor.

Learn more about organ and tissue donation, or register as a donor at

Impact Stories | Organ & Tissue Donation

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Dionne Griffin
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Become an Organ and Tissue Donor
Learn more about how to sign up as an organ, tissue and eye donor and how organ donation saves and enhances lives in our communities.
About Blood Donation
Donate blood, donate plasma or donate platelets at a blood donation center near you or a blood drive near you. Make an appointment to donate blood today.
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Impact Stories
Your blood, organ and tissue, and other donations directly impact lives in your community. Read a few of the examples of some of the lives that have been changed for the better.