Search for Kidney Cements Personal Cambodian-American Bond

VOA NEWS | Manilene Ek
Taylor Tagg (left) Timothy Chhim (middle) and Tony Chhim are pictured in Nanuet, New York, May 14, 2017. The Taggs visited the Chhims for a Buddhist blessing for an operation scheduled for May 25, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Taylor Tagg)
Tony Chhim, a first-generation Cambodian-American, needs a kidney.

Until a few weeks ago, his family thought a yearlong search among relatives in Cambodia and in Khmer communities throughout the United States had been fruitless. Then Taylor Tagg, an American friend of Tony's dad, Tim, surprised everyone by turning out to be a match.

The euphoria lasted until a few days ago, when doctors at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York, discovered a complication. That dashed what had been a feel-good, one-in-a-million, happy-ending kind of saga that transcended race, religion and national origin, as Tagg prepared to be the first American to donate a kidney to the son of Cambodian refugees.

Painful dialysis 3 times a week

Tony Chhim, 31, is Tim's only son. Born in the United States, Tony is a football player and roots for the North Rockland Red Raiders football team in Thiells, New York. With only one functioning kidney, he's in dialysis. Continue reading


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