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Texas man donates kidney to save brother's life

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Posted at 10:21 PM, Dec 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-28 23:21:55-05

DALLAS (KTVT/CNN) – A Texas man has a lot to be thankful for this holiday.

After being diagnosed with kidney failure, his younger brother stepped in to give him a second chance at life.

"It's just brotherly love. This was kind of part of it. It's not always something you think you're going to have to do, it's something that if I did need to do it, I'm here," said Caleb Massengale, who donated the kidney. 

That sacrifice became dire for his brother, Ryan. He was born with two kidneys but had one removed at the age of 2 because of a birth defect.

Recently, his remaining kidney began to deteriorate. The options: a transplant or dialysis.

"He was the first person to fill out an application and submit," said Ryan. 

So Caleb gave his big brother a kidney, the gift quite literally of a lifetime.

Dr. Richard Dickerman, Transplant Surgeon. Methodist Health System:

"I think his life expectancy as well as his lifestyle is going to change. It is a life-saving thing that his brother has done for him. He saved his life," said Dr. Richard Dickerman, the transplant surgeon at Methodist Health System. 

"It was never really a question of 'will you?' He's always been very upfront, just tell me what I need to do," said Wendy Strait, the men's mother. 

But with a new kidney came a heavy heart for Ryan.

"He's going through a surgery for me. Technically, there's not a benefit for him. I mean, yeah, I stick around, but it's kind of a negative all on his side," said Ryan. "I'm going to say it's an easy one and probably won't be topped. It's something I'm truly thankful for, though."

Ryan will take anti-rejection medication the rest of his life, but will likely not need any more surgeries.

Meanwhile, Caleb was released from the hospital Friday.

His brother should be home by New Year's Day.

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