Minnesota Man Donates Kidney to His Neighbor (and 4 Other Inspiring Stories You Might Have Missed)

UPDATED 03/22/2014 at 01:45 PM EDT Originally published 03/21/2014 at 10:30 AM EDT

Inspiring Act of Kindness: Man Donates Kidney to Neighbor
Chuck Paulson (left) donated his kidney to help neighbor Melvin Freeman.
FOX 9
Five acts of kindness worth celebrating, and sharing. (See last week's list)

1. The Minnesota Man Who Gave His Kidney to a Neighbor in Need.

This week marked a new beginning of sorts for Melvin Freeman, an Oakdale, Minnesota man who has been searching for a kidney donor for nearly a year. As reported by Minneapolis' Fox 9, Freeman first told neighbor Chuck Paulson that he needed a transplant last April. Following Paulson’s offer of his own organ, and months of medical testing and evaluation, both men went through with the surgery March 11.

KMSP-TV

Finding a kidney donor is no small challenge. In the United States, nearly 100,000 people are currently on the waiting list for a new kidney. Doctors have declared Freeman’s transplant a success.

Thankfully for Freeman, if Paulson's kidney didn’t work out, he had another willing donor lined up: Paulson's wife. When the neighbor first checked with his wife before going forward with his extraordinary offer, she reportedly told him "if you don't, I will."

2. The Doctor Who Started a Free Mobile Asthma Clinic For Texas Students.

Students in Texas' Tyler Independent School District are breathing easier thanks to a mobile clinic started by pediatric asthma and allergy specialist, Dr. Paul Sharkey. As reported by KETK, the Breath of Life Mobile Asthma Clinic has been visiting elementary and middle schools in the district every day since October.

There is no charge for the appointment, which allows kids and their parents to see specialists without missing time at school. The clinic also makes medications available to families at more affordable prices.

3. The Corpus Christi College Students Who Donated 400 Teddy Bears to Help Kids.

The Child Development/Early Childhood program at Del Mar College put their education into practice this week with a stuffed animal donation to the American Red Cross. A grand total of 437 teddy bears were donated to the Red Cross location on the college’s East Campus in Corpus Christi, TX, reports KIII.

The drive was held on both of the community college's campuses during the month of February. The Red Cross will use the bears to comfort distressed children.



4. The Cancer Patient Who Donated Her Hair to Charity.

22-year-old Sarah Robertson is about to begin 18 weeks of chemotherapy to treat her invasive breast cancer. But before her hair fell out due to the treatment, she volunteered to have it trimmed and donated to charity, all while raising money for cancer research in the process.

At the Face of Freedom fashion show in Scotland this past Sunday, Robertson took to the stage for her haircut, reports The Courier. A fundraising page set up at JustGiving.com raised awareness about the event, which has so far raised nearly $9,000 for cancer research.

5. The Spring Breaker Who Saved the Life of a Former New Jersey Teammate.

A 15-year-old track and field athlete in Montvale, New Jersey is alive thanks to the quick actions of a former teammate, reports WCBS. Mike Vercellone, 19, was visiting his former high school Wednesday while on spring break from Rutgers when the younger teammate collapsed during practice. Vercellone performed CPR while a coach ran to the field with a defibrillator. Despite being certified as an EMT since the age of 16, this was the first time Vercellone performed the compression portion of the CPR procedure.

A member of the Rutgers ROTC, Vercellone told WCBS that has a passion for service: "I think it’s very rewarding, you get a lot out of it. I’ve always enjoyed helping people and that’s what I always want to do."


Minnesota Man Donates Kidney to His Neighbor (and 4 Other Inspiring Stories You Might Have Missed)| Heroes Among Us, Good Deeds, Real People Stories

Mindy Tran

Courtesy WCVB ABC



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