HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – National Donate Life Month is celebrated every April and encourages organ donor registration.

In 1994, Dave Shafer was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease.

“Eventually, through the testing and everything else, it was determined that I needed to be on dialysis, and I was put on the waitlist and I got on the waitlist here at UPMC Harrisburg,” said Dave Shafer, kidney recipient.

In the meantime, he continued as a volunteer firefighter with Upper Allen Fire Company and occasionally ran into Steve Cosey, another volunteer for a neighboring department.

“Our relationship was just being on fire scenes together,” said Shafer.

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After five years on dialysis and seven years on a transplant list, Dave got a phone call from a familiar name, not knowing a new chance at life was on the other line.

Without hesitation, Steve Cosey decided to become a living donor to Dave.

“I knew God was sending me a message that he was needing me that way,” said Cosey.

Almost six months after surgery, Steve and Dave are friends and still doing what they love.

“Twice this week, we’ve been on fire calls together, and we always try and make a point of walking up to each other and shaking hands,” said Shafer.

“Being a firefighter, you know you realize how fragile life can be,” said Shafer.

Priscilla St. Jacques-Glusko knows that, too. Her son, Anthony, was in an accident three years ago.

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“We were in the hospital, and the doctors told us he would not live after the surgery so we reviewed with the Gift of Life and what that meant,” said St. Jacques-Glusko.

Anthony had checked “organ donor” on his license and because of that, a seven-year-old boy received a new kidney, a 50-year-old man got a new lung and a farmer in Michigan received Anthony’s heart.

“Those organ donations are going to contribute to somebody else’s life who is going to live a good life,” said St. Jacques-Glusko.

For more information on organ donation visit UPMC.com/DonateLife