Bonds of brotherhood give Utah man Gift of Hope, connect blood brothers for life

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When a Utah man needed a kidney, his brother got tested and created a bond the two will never forget.

It's been 45 years since one donated his kidney to the other, and the Romero brothers don't show any signs of slowing down.

Eloy and Fred Romero are brothers; their families are close and often get together. 

Eloy and Fred both enlisted and were proud to serve; Eloy went to Vietnam and Fred was in the Air Force.

But when Fred was in his early twenties, he learned he needed something very important from his brother.

"I got sick in November of 1969 and December and January, they told me my kidneys failed and I had to go on dialysis," Fred said.

The family jumped at the chance to help, and Eloy asked doctors what he could do. Kidney_Twins

"They did mention to us a family member would work better, so I volunteered and they did all the tests and it worked good," Eloy said.

This was a potentially life-threatening surgery.

At that time, it had been just 15 years since the first successful kidney transplant took place in Boston.

In hindsight, the brothers are able to laugh about the risks involved.

"It never dawned on me of being nervous or anything," Fred said. "It was just set up, we were going to have the transplant and I went with it. No one ever told me I'd die or anything."Kidney_Twins_surgery1

And while Eloy says there is no need for thanks, Fred told us how “he” feels.

“It's hard to try to explain what life is and what it means to you," Fred said. "I’m just so thankful that Eloy, for what he's done for me, there's no way you can put it into words."

To be an organ donor, say yes on your driver's license or state ID card.

You can also go online to sign up at YesUtah.org.