of ABC News
In a show of amazing sportsmanship and brotherly love, Ma’ake Kemoeatu, a former player for the Baltimore Ravens, retired from the NFL and donated a kidney
to his brother Chris.
What makes this story so interesting is that Chris Kemoeatu played in the NFL, too. He played for Ravens rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers. According to the family, Chris had kidney troubles from a young age, but played through them in college and as he entered the pros. His brother Ma'ake took notice, however and said this:
"I’ve seen him struggle and the last three years of his career, fighting through a lot because of his kidney. When we found out he needed a transplant, we had to stop our careers because his health was most important to us.”
Chris retired from the NFL in 2011 and Ma'ake followed suit following the 2012 season. It took about a year for Chris to get a diagnosis, but when he did, his brother Ma'ake stepped up and ask to donate. He was a 99% match.
Though it sounds like the story ends here with a successful donation, that wasn't the case. First, both brothers had to lose weight before the surgery could be done. Almost a year into their weight loss journey, it was discovered that Chris had a problem with his heart. Due to his heart condition, he needed surgery for that before he could undergo a kidney transplant.
Finally, after years of preparing and waiting, a successful kidney transplant from one brother to another was completed on August 27th. Though both brothers are still recovering from the surgery, they are both very healthy and planning to move back to their homes in Hawaii as soon as they are cleared by doctors.
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