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Rochester DJ Receives Special Gift That Saves His Life

Posted at: 12/31/2012 8:39 PM
Updated at: 12/31/2012 10:43 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- He was a DJ in Rochester for years, but came to the "Med City" because of a serious medical condition. He had kidney failure.

"When I was a child, really young like five or six, my mom told me I had Alport Syndrome, a disease I got to from my grandfather," said James Rabe. A syndrome that can lead to kidney failure. Something the former KROC DJ was still never fully prepared for. "It was just earlier this year that I found out that my kidneys had failed," said James.

"Of course I was worried about him," said his sister Joan Rabe.

He started getting treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Ironically, his sister Joan lives there too. "She said, 'oh I'm A positive, let’s just take my blood and check it out,’" said James. Sure enough..."They did and it was a little less than a week later she called me and said 'Hey! The doctor says I'm a 100 percent match!'" said James.

"It’s a pretty cool thing to get put in a position where you can be a hero," said Joan. She was, just a couple weeks after finding out she was a match, the two of them went under surgery. "I was very sure to begin with. I just felt like it was the right thing to do and was excited to be able to do this," said Joan.

Giving her kidney to her little brother James. "I kind of tear up thinking, wow, this is something I can actually do," said Joan.

"I often tear up thinking about it because it's an enormous gift," said James. A gift that gave James a second chance, and made the two of them closer than ever.

"Yes," laughed Joan, "we do feel closer."

"It’s great because she gave me a new lease on life," said James. The two of them say the recovery process is going very well and James says he has never felt better.