Best Friends: A Beloved Lifesaver

She felt all alone in a new town and with a new job. She soon was anything but alone!

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- Posted on Jan 7, 2015

Jenna (right) and pal Shantel brighten up the coldest Wisconsin winter together.

I’ll never forget what Shantel Magner said when we met. I’d just moved from Ladysmith, Wisconsin, to start my job as assistant administrator at the St. Francis Home, a long-term-care community in Fond du Lac. I didn’t know a soul, and I wondered if it was the right place for me. One day I introduced myself to Shantel, a nurse supervisor. She looked at me closely.

“Jenna Floberg,” she said. “I know you!”

“That’s not possible,” I said. “I just moved here.”

“You visited my church when we were kids,” she said. “I’m from Newfolden!” Newfolden? My dad grew up there. It’s a tiny town in northern Minnesota. My parents used to take me and my siblings up there to see the extended Floberg clan. What a memory Shantel had!

The two of us clicked. We ate lunch together and hung out on weekends. Soon we were as close as sisters. We even found out our dads had played high school football together! I shared everything with her. Including when my brother Joshua needed a kidney transplant. No one in our family could donate because we had a milder form of the same disorder. I asked Shantel to pray for a donor. She did more than that. She got tested and was a match.

The transplant was a success. I have no doubt that I’m right where I’m meant to be, enjoying life in Fond du Lac with Shantel—best friend and lifesaver.

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