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Tycho
04-18-2007, 11:15 PM
I just found my friend had posted this in my kidney diseases support group. I'm not sure anyone here would care, but I found it inspirational.

While the issue is very personal and life-and-death to me, I don't see myself as being as worthy of such an effort as this police woman the story is in regards to. I think part of my affliction has made me cynical and quite belligerant. That is something that's hard for me to help. I'm quite an angry person in light of my condition these days. But maybe you'll enjoy this article:

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This FBI Agent is donating his Kidney tomorrow April 19th


FBI Agent a Reluctant Hero (www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/health/346261,CST-NWS-kidney18.article)

April 18, 2007

BY NATASHA KORECKI - Staff Reporter/nkorecki@suntimes.com

He's an FBI special agent, a father, a crisis hotline volunteer, and --
on Thursday -- he'll donate a kidney to someone he just met.

But Tom Simon doesn't want to be called a hero.

Simon, 37, says he wanted to make a difference in someone's life and
show others that donating an organ isn't difficult to do.

He looked on a donor Web site, /www.matchingdonors.com,/ and found
Brenda Lagrimas' profile.

She was young, wanted to start a family and, like him, was in law
enforcement. To Simon, she was the perfect match.

"I'd like to draw attention to the fact that this isn't a giant
sacrifice in my life," Simon said. "Brenda is going to die if she
doesn't get a kidney. I have one to spare. I'm not being a hero. This is
social justice."

Simon started with the FBI 12 years ago and investigates major financial
and white-collar crimes. He's married and has two children, ages 4 and
3. He made the decision after many long talks with his wife, he said.

Donating an organ isn't as daunting as most people think, Simon said.
He'll undergo laparoscopic surgery and expects to be home within a day
and, after a rest at home, back at work by May 1.

'I will finally be free'
Kidney donations are the most common type of organ donation. Experts say
the risk to the donor is low because the remaining kidney will pick up
the necessary work.

Lagrimas, 31, of Evanston, was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2003.
She works as a victim witness specialist for the Cook County state's
attorney's office. In 2004, she developed congestive heart failure. Her
malfunctioning kidneys drain her energy. She gets dialysis three times a
week for 3.5 to 4 hours each session.

She says she thinks transplant surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
on Thursday will change her life. "I will finally be free," she said.

Lagrimas also has her friends at work to thank for matching up with
Simon. For her 30th birthday, colleagues collected more than $600 to buy
a lifetime ad on /matching donors.com./

Sites like /matchingdonors.com /are controversial because they reward
recipients who put on the best marketing vs. those with the greatest
medical need.

Simon initially walked into Northwestern and offered to be an anonymous
donor. But he later changed his mind and started surfing the Web.

"I would have wanted the person to be exactly like Brenda," Simon said.
"She was my dream recipient."

Coincidentally, Lagrimas was also on Northwestern's wait list.

Her time on the Web site was an emotional roller coaster, she said.
People showed interest in helping, then faded. Others tried -- illegally
-- to sell her their organs or asked that she help them into the country
in return. One man from Texas corresponded with her for eight months,
then disappeared.

When Simon e-mailed her, she didn't even respond right away, thinking it
was just another false hope. She couldn't believe it when he turned out
to be legit.

"He doesn't see it, he's practically saving my life," Lagrimas said.
"He's a hero to me. He's my hero."