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‘Seven Sisters’ At Loyola Donate Kidneys To Strangers

Roseanne Tellez meets with three of the "Seven Sisters." (CBS)

Roseanne Tellez meets with three of the “Seven Sisters.” (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — They are called the Seven Sisters—and what they have done has saved the lives of total strangers.

Seven staffers at Loyola University Medical Center have now donated a kidney—and in most cases, the donors at first knew nothing–or very little–about the patients. Many later met with their recipients. CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez has more to this remarkable story.

A nurse, a dental hygienist, a secretary and a medical director are among those employees.

Barbara Thomas knows her recipient. He’s the father of one of her son’s friends.

“I’m just so blessed to see the huge dramatic change in a fabulous family,” Thomas told CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez.

James Love, the recipient of Thomas’ kidney, is a father of six.

“I thank God every day for the chance to toss the ball with my son and to have conversations with my daughter … to do homework with them … you know that stuff is priceless,’ Love said.

Another donor, Jodi Tamen, told Newsradio 780’s John Cody that losing a kidney didn’t cost her anything and didn’t hurt—other than producing a temporary inability to do push-ups.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s John Cody Reports

She says she sees a kidney donation to a stranger as starting off a good will chain.

Tamen’s kidney went to a 52-year-old California poet whose last name was Murray, and who’d been on dialysis for seven years.

Tamen said Murray’s sister wasn’t a match, but the sister decided to donate a kidney to another patient in Utah instead.

She says she’s not worried about contracting kidney disease herself now that she’s down one.

“Because if you end up needing a kidney later, you go close to the top” of the registry list, said Tamen, a dental hygienist at Loyola.

There are over 4,000 people waiting for kidney transplant in Illinois alone.