Midstate soldier donates kidney to comrade - abc27 WHTM

Midstate soldier donates kidney to comrade

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Sgt. Joseph Love, left, and Sgt. Daniel Famous (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Ted Nichols/Released) Sgt. Joseph Love, left, and Sgt. Daniel Famous (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Ted Nichols/Released)

A Pennsylvania National Guard soldier is exemplifying the words of the medics' creed, "so that others may live," by donating one of his kidneys to a comrade.

Sergeant Daniel Famous is a husband and father of two young boys. He trains Army medics and works at Fort Indiantown Gap.

"We take all the equipment and we reset everything back to 1020 standards, pretty much the way they'd get it issued brand new," said Famous.

Famous was deployed four times with the Pennsylvania National Guard and number five was supposed to happen this year; that is until Famous found out he needs a kidney transplant.

Famous was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease 20 years ago, but it was not until 2012 that his health took a drastic turn.

"I got all my medics together at the end of one drill and told them that they need to pick up their game because I was not going to be deploying with them," said Famous.

That is when Sergeant Joseph Love marched in and began his mission to help Famous.

"We all cared about Pops, about Sergeant Famous. He's someone we respect and admire very much," Love said.

Love started the rigorous, five-month process of testing to see if he could donate a kidney to Famous. He found out in August that he was a perfect match.

"I just said, 'Oh by the way, for the last five months I've been going through this testing process and I'm a match for your kidney. So, if you want it, it's yours,' and he was at loss for words, which he never is," said Love.

"I was just thinking about how selfless and how wonderful of a gift this was for one person to give another person. He's basically given me the gift of life," Famous said.

Famous and Love will go under the knife just a few days after Valentine's Day.

"It's part of the Army values, it's part of the warrior ethos: never leave a fallen comrade. Selfless service. I mean these are things that the Army calls us to, but above the Army, I wanted to," said Love.

Many people have questioned Love's decision. He said he is simply trying to live up to his name.

"In the Gospel of John, Jesus said that greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends, and I try to live out that principal. And this is just another way to live that and made that just not a recital of words," Love said.

"I can't thank him enough. I've told him that this act of kindness makes him a part of our family. He will obviously always be a part of me for the rest of my life and there is nothing that I could think of to equal what he has given me," said Famous.

The two men hope the "Famous-Love" story inspires others.

"You only need one to live. We got two so everybody's got a kidney to spare. I encourage people to please go out and get tested. You could change somebody else's life," said Famous.

There are currently more than 99,000 people in the U.S. waiting for a kidney transplant. For more information, check visit http://www.pinnaclehealth.org/transplant.

Famous and Love will undergo surgery Tuesday morning. If all goes as planned, both men will recover in four to six weeks.


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