Glen Burnie Man’S Kidney Transplant Fulfills Former Pool Rival’S Selfless Act

Former pool rivals, James Harris Jr. and Russ Redhead, have become forever connected through a lifesaving kidney donation. The two had initially faced off in a high-stakes tournament a decade ago, where Harris emerged the winner and Redhead accused him of cheating. However, what started as a bitter rivalry eventually grew into a friendship. When Harris fell ill due to kidney disease exacerbated by COVID-19, his wife Denise Epps-Harris became his advocate to find a living donor. Redhead, upon learning of Harris’ need for a kidney, selflessly offered his own. The transplant procedure was successful, and both men are now on the road to recovery. They hope to use their story to raise awareness about organ donation.

Receiving a kidney from a living donor generally leads to better outcomes for transplant recipients, and the waitlist for a deceased donor kidney can be several years long. Epps-Harris initially reached out to the Big Ask, Big Give campaign to find a potential living donor, but it was ultimately Redhead, whom she ran into at a pool tournament, who ended up being the match. The transplant surgery took place on February 8th at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Dr. Daniel Maluf, the transplant surgeon, emphasized the positive impact of organ donation, highlighting how a simple act can prevent someone from remaining on dialysis for life. Both Harris and Redhead are now focused on their recoveries and plan to team up in a pool tournament to spread awareness about organ donation.

Epps-Harris’s advocacy and the support of organizations like Infinite Legacy are crucial in identifying potential living donors. The couple hopes that their story will encourage others to consider becoming organ donors and save lives. Through their journey, they want people to understand that the main message is about the possibility of becoming a donor.

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