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VIDEO - Friends pack Sandusky VFW to support Kimberlin, Kuhlman

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:06 PM

SANDUSKY - Jim Kimberlin and Jack Kuhlman must realize how much they are loved.

A benefit for the two men one in need of a kidney and the other willing to donate an organ for his friend had so many people come they ran out of food, but didn't run out of people willing to help.

The Sandusky VFW post was filled with people of all ages supporting Kimberlin and Kuhlman. The two men have worked together for 11 years.

When Kuhlman, of Monroeville, found out his fellow worker at CertainTeed had a genetic disease that destroyed his kidneys, he volunteered for testing. He didn't even tell Kimberlin he was being tested.

When the tests came back, Kuhlman was a match. On Friday, he will be in surgery at the Cleveland Clinic as one of his kidneys will be transplanted into Kimberlin.

Kimberlin has been living on dialysis since December when both of his kidneys were removed because of polycystic kidney disease, which causes cysts to form on kidneys. His mother and his uncle are alive because of transplants.

Kimberlin wants to bring the possibility of living donations to the forefront.

"I'd like to talk about the importance of donation," he said, adding that many people don't realize that organs can be transplanted from living donors.

Kimberlin also talked about legislation to keep insurance companies from excluding people with genetic diseases. His three children might have inherited the kidney disease from Kimberlin, but he won't let them get tested because that could keep them from getting jobs and insurance.

Kuhlman, the donor, said his decision was easy.

"His family needed him more than I needed another kidney," Kuhlman said.

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