Transplant solidifies bond between ex-firefighter and ex-Marine - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Transplant solidifies bond between ex-firefighter and ex-Marine

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RICHFIELD CENTER, OH (Toledo News Now) -

An ex-Marine is about to give the gift of life to a retired Toledo firefighter.

It's just another reminder about the importance of organ donation.

Kevin Bernheisel is donating one of his kidneys to Bill Johnson.

The procedure will take place this Thursday in Florida where Bill lives.

"People can function without two kidneys. Your kidneys don't even work to their full capacity," said Kevin.

Bill had two options: a transplant or dialysis.

Four weeks ago, he chose the transplant after learning Kevin was a perfect match.

"He's a good man, a retired firefighter. I feel people should be lined up at the door to help," said Kevin.

The guys aren't strangers.

Bill is Kevin's brother-in-law's dad.

"Oh it's an amazing thing. He's sacrificing something that belongs to him to give to me. He's giving me an extension of my life," said Bill.

Folks came Saturday to a spaghetti dinner fundraiser in Richfield Center to help the guys.

Money raised will help pay for Bill's medical expenses.

Kevin needs help with transportation costs to and from Florida and lost pay from work.

"Everybody uses the word hero. Kevin is a hero. Kevin is a humble man," said Bill.

But Kevin Bernheisel doesn't consider himself a hero.

He just thinks it's important to make a difference in somebody's life.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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