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WIFE BESTOWS SWEETEST GIFT - HER KIDNEY

SHARE WIFE BESTOWS SWEETEST GIFT - HER KIDNEY

Noreen McGuire has already given her husband her heart. So for Valentine's Day, she's giving him one of her kidneys.

"We thought that would be a nice gift," she joked. "I told him that's all he's getting this year."Michael McGuire was scheduled to receive one of his wife's kidneys Wednesday morning at Stanford University Medical Center.

"It's a humbling experience," he said Monday, resting after what he hoped would be his last dialysis session. "It's a big responsibility to donate - and a big responsibility to accept a gift like that."

Most of the thousands of kidneys that are transplanted each year come from donors who have just died. Blood relatives are the first live donors doctors seek.

Michael McGuire, a diabetic, rejected his sister's offer to donate, fearing that she, too, might develop diabetes and eventually suffer from kidney failure, one of the disease's complications.

But Noreen McGuire, 45, turned out to be a good match.

"I love him, and he'd do it for me, if the shoe was on the other foot," she said. "I want him to feel better. We'll be able to do more things together like we used to."

McGuire's kidneys began to fail last summer, forcing him to undergo dialysis three times a week to cleanse his blood.