Thursday, August 25, 2011

Marine to Marine

Insignia of a United States Second LieutenantMarine Sgt. Jake Chadwick found out that he was in kidney failure shortly after deploying to Iraq. He knew he needed a kidney transplant in order to survive but knew finding a match would be tough because he has blood type 'O'. Therefore, he could only receive a kidney from a donor whose blood type was 'O'. He found a matching, willing donor only to have them change their mind and decide not to donate which put him back at step one.

Then, another Marine, 2nd Lt. Patrick Wayland, 24, suffered a fatal heart attack during a training exercise. 2nd Lt. Wayland was an organ donor, and his mother requested that at least one of his organ's go to a Marine, if one was in need of a transplant. Remarkably, through Operation Gratitude, The Wayland Family learned of Sgt. Chadwick's need for a kidney. The two soldiers were found to be a match, and on August 7th, Sgt. Chadwick received one of 2nd Lt. Wayland's kidneys. Sgt. Chadwick is already home and doing well. In fact, both families are already expressing a desire to meet.

2nd Lt. Wayland was a hero both on and off the battlefield. In addition to his fellow Marine, he saved five other lives by making the choice to be an organ donor. The story of these two Marines shows just how "brothers in arms," and Marines in particular, do indeed "take care of their own." Perhaps the rest of us could learn a thing or two from them.

Semper Fi.

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