SALISBURY, Md. - It's a smile that lights up an entire room.
Even on a chilly November day, joy beams from Dan Stevenson's face. Salisbury School headmaster Ed Cowell calls Stevenson's spirit "infectious". But for more than a decade, his energy was not always common.
"It's definitely hard to see someone you love not feeling 100 percent," said Jill Stevenson, Dan's wife.
His family watched as Stevenson battled with kidney disease, with support every step of the way.
"If he's feeling tired at some point, then I know I have to step up my game a little bit ," said Jill Stevenson.
In April that all changed after his brother, Tom Stevenson, promised to donate his own kidney. On July 8th, the father of four underwent a kidney transplant.
"When he was being wheeled into the waiting room, they drove [my brother Tom] by me before he went in," said Stevenson, That was kind of a cool moment just to see him before he went in."
In the months following, Stevenson returned to work. But he tells WMDT there were some hiccups along the way. He missed seven weeks right after the surgery and took half days during the start of the fall semester for doctors appointments and pain.
But Cowell says the school continued to support Stevenson.
"We're a family and when one of us hurts, we all hurt," said Cowell.
Four months since surgery, Stevenson says the smile and energy is here to stay.
"We were always a close family, but somehow we are closer because of this," said Stevenson.
Stevenson says he hopes his story prompts everyone to get checked for kidney disease. The National Kidney Foundation recommends three tests to check for this condition: blood pressure test, urinalysis and glomerular filtration rate.