Knoxville News Sentinel | Terry Shaw
For five years after suffering from kidney failure, Fernando Rodriguez refused to let any of his 12 siblings be tested for a possible transplant match.
"He didn't want to put a family member at risk and just wanted to be on the transplant list until his turn came," Hector, 38, recalled.
In the meantime, Fernando underwent dialysis three times a week, four hours at a time. His weight dropped. He lost color. Sometimes he couldn't get out of bed.
Finally, on a 2001 visit back to their hometown of Los Angeles, Hector overruled his big brother.
"I know you're a tough guy, but sometimes you have to let someone help you," Hector recalled. "I'm going to give you a kidney."