Two United States airmen by the names of Jim McGee and Doug Coffman proudly served together during the Vietnam War. Without exact detail, we know that the Veterans have spent enough time together in the service to be able to share hours worth of stories today. The last time that they saw each other was in 1971 at training in California.
50 YEARS LATER..
The two military pals, McGee 69 and Coffman 70, reunited at a memorial service being held for a fellow airmen. Following a period of reminiscing, Coffman discovered that McGee was suffering with kidney failure.
McGee, a retired foreign service officer from Florida and former U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe and Madagascar, now almost completely "Out Of Service" from dialysis, on a transplant wait list lasting 3-5 years and living with the daily life threatening risks of kidney failure.
Doug Coffman, 70 (LEFT) | Jim McGee, 69 (RIGHT)
"In times of crisis in my life .. Our Band of Brothers stepped forward for me" - Doug Coffman, explaining his immediate decision to donate a kidney to McGee.
"Our blood and tissue type match is good," said Coffman. "And to me, it just is living proof that we're all part of one human family. The chances of our match .. I don't know what the odds were, but we beat them."
The transplant was a success, taking place Tuesday 09/18/2018 at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington D.C. Furthermore, despite being 70 years old, the surgeon said that Coffman has kidneys like a 35-year-old! McGee could not have found a better donor.
"We have not seen each other face to face until we met in Monterey about three months ago, which was an excellent time," McGee said. "Doug volunteered a kidney, and to me, it's the gift of life."
"It means that I can continue the things that I'm so passionate about trying to move ahead," McGee said. "One of the things that I'm most passionate about right now is making certain that everyone understands that there's a national crisis -- 100,000 people are waiting for kidney transplants, another 15,000 for liver transplants. It's people like Doug who stepped forward and make the difference. That's the real story here today."
LEARN MORE about Kidney and Liver transplants, if everyone contributes just a little bit to growing awareness .. Together we will have contributed a large amount > American Transplant Foundation!