This is a great example of the love, support and generosity available in the recovering community:
Dale Ensor was desperate when he walked into a 12-step addiction recovery program five years ago. That’s when he met a man named Dexter McElrath, who offered to help Ensor along the path to sobriety.
“Dexter took me under his wings and showed me the ropes,” said Ensor, a 52-year-old self-employed painter who lives just north of Jackson. “I couldn’t get it in my brain that there are people who care of me. The guy helped save my life. I would have died out there; I really would have.”
At the time, neither could have known that this summer, Ensor would return the favor.
McElrath’s kidneys began to fail in May 2007. The Ypsilanti Township resident went on dialysis for 14 months, expecting to wait the average three to five years for a transplant if he couldn’t get a kidney from a friend or relative.
Two people offered a kidney, but one wasn’t a match and McElrath wouldn’t take the other because it would have meant postponing the donating woman’s education.
McElrath was forced to cut way back on his hours as a construction worker because dialysis wore him out. Ensor watched his friend’s health deteriorate and agreed to be tested.
“It was either that, or watch my friend die,” he said. “All the cards were on the table. When it came to it, what kind of man am I? What am I going to do?”