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2 is better than 1: Burlington County couple each donate kidney

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A New Jersey couple really got into the spirit of giving this holiday season by each deciding to donate one of their kidneys to a stranger.

“I was turning 60 and I figured for my 60th birthday, why not donate a kidney? And at the same time let my hair go natural, which was a lot harder than donating a kidney,” says Cheryl Cohen of Chesterfield Township.

Husband Frank Kinchick says that Cohen’s decision to donate one of her kidneys inspired him to do the same.

“When you think about the entirety of the population of this country alone, there's a massive surplus of kidneys,” he says.

Kinchick says that he made his decision while doctors were describing his wife’s upcoming operation.

“And he said to me, ‘What do you think about Cheryl donating a kidney?’ And I looked at him and I looked at Cheryl and I said, ‘How would you like two kidneys?’ Because when she started thinking about it I was actually thinking about it as well but I never told anyone,” Kinchick says.

The Burlington County couple are what is believed to be the only couple to become altruistic kidney donors.

Cohen says that she was inspired when her brother received a heart transplant that added eight years to his life. She got involved in the New Jersey Organ and Tissues Sharing Network, became a board member and eventually decided to donate a kidney to an anonymous recipient.

Cohen had her operation at RWJ Barnabas in Livingston this past April. Kinchick had his operation in July. They say that they hope to inspire others to donate kidneys.

“It almost seemed, in afterthought, like why didn't we think of this sooner?” says Kinchick.

The couple has not met the people who received their kidneys - that decision is up to the recipients. Anyone who may be interested in becoming a donor should contact the New Jersey Sharing Network

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