Arlington Heights family finds, meets kidney donor for first time

CHICAGO TRIBUNE | Karen Ann Cullota

When Justin Maduena's wife forwarded him a Facebook post showing a car window bearing the plea, "Dad Needs Kidney," the 42-year-old father of six from downstate Illinois stopped what he was doing and fired up his cellphone.

"I called the phone number on the sign, and lo and behold, Stewart answered the phone, so I asked, 'how can I help?'" recalled Maduena, who, accompanied by his wife, Melinda Maduena, and the couple's two oldest children, drove roughly 200 miles from their home in tiny Dawson on Thursday to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where for the first time, he was united with Arlington Heights resident and kidney recipient Stewart Botsford, 54.

"There's all this bickering going on in our country right now, with people saying, 'I want, I want, I want,'" Justin Maduena said. "But I just want to get the word out that people can help other families by being kidney donors."

"There's a lot of negative stuff happening in the world right now," added Botsford, who along with Maduena, is scheduled for surgery at the Chicago hospital on Aug. 16. Continue reading
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