ROUND ROCK, Texas — In the past nine years, Frank Cantrell made regular trips to the hospital, since he was one of hundreds on a growing list of people who needed a new kidney.
Since his diagnosis of renal failure, Cantrell relied on medication and careful dietary restrictions to manage his progressive and incurable kidney disease.
However, new challenges arose in the past year.
He had three surgeries, and five trips to the emergency room. Following all that, his diagnosis changed to stage five kidney failure.
As a result, Cantrell signed up for the kidney donor list in July 2018. The family said many friends tested to see if they were a match, but a kidney couldn't be found.
The wait seemed endless for his family in Round Rock.
Finally, the family's prayers were answered: Cantrell's own sister-in-law, Janice Berryman, turned out to be a match for a kidney transplant.
Cantrell was ecstatic to hear the news.
"Like a 12-year-old at Christmas time and you can't wait for it to get here," Frank Cantrell said.
As soon as she found out she was a match, Berryman flew out from Boise, Idaho to prepare for the surgery.
"He's a great father, a great help mate to my best friend my sister, and they have many more years to live," she said. "And more grandbabies to get to love on and a daughter to walk down the aisle. There's just still hope that's out there for him to be a part of."
Dr. Steven Potter, the transplant surgeon, said the operation will add years to Cantrell's life.
"Statistically speaking, he's probably going to gain another 12 years of life," Potter said. "That's a lot of years of watching your kids and your grand kids grow up and go to school and lot's of Christmases and Thanksgivings."
Patty Cantrell, Berryman's sister and Frank Cantrell's wife of 31 years, said she never lost hope.
"I am super emotional about it," she said. "For two of the people I really love to be laying on tables in different operating rooms, but I believe that God brought us on this journey and he 's gonna see us through to the end."
"I'm just very grateful, very grateful," Frank Cantrell said.
The surgery is scheduled for Tuesday morning. Expect more from KCEN Channel 6 as we update this story to see how they're recovering.