Sunday, July 25, 2021
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Kemoeatu retires from NFL to donate kidney

Kemoeatu gives up his career to save his brother. (AP Photo)
Kemoeatu gives up his career to save his brother. (AP Photo)

After another week of turmoil in the NFL, it’s great to hear more stories like this amidst all the chaos. The NFL has had many notable pairs of brothers: the Mannings, the Barbers and many others. But how many brothers could say they gave up their NFL career to help their brother in need?

That’s what Ravens nose guard, Ma’ake Kemoeatu, did for his brother Chris. Chris Kemoeatu, a former guard for the Steelers, had been suffering from kidney problems since his adolescent years, but his kidney problems finally cut his career short when he needed a transplant at 31 — a year and a half ago. 

When his brother had to retire from the league and needed a kidney transplant, Ma’ake immediately stepped up and offered to give his kidney to his brother. Once he found his kidney was a match, he immediately gave his football career up at age 35 to help his brother.

“As soon as my brother’s health was at risk, I wanted to stop everything,” Ma’ake said. “He couldn’t play anymore, and I didn’t want to be in a position where he couldn’t play but I’d keep playing.”

The brothers have been prepping for this transplant for the past 18 months, and the transplant finally took place this past week at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

The surgeon, Dr. Stephen Bartlett, said the surgery went well and that both brothers will have a healthy recovery. Chris said that his brother giving him his kidney was a humbling experience and brought them much closer.

There are a lot of other issues in the league right now, but the story about the Kemoeatus is something special that makes the whole world smile at the sports world. 


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