A long-suffering Canadian woman with a new lease on life, and the Christian activist from Australia who gave up one of his kidneys to save her, say they want to "inspire" the world with their controversial transplant - performed Thursday in Cyprus after a Toronto hospital refused to do the operation last year on ethical grounds.
Sandi Sabloff, a Toronto woman in her 50s, and Ashwyn Falkingham, a 23-year-old member of the Jesus Christians - an Australia-based religious group dedicated to organ donation as a supreme act of generosity and faith - spoke with Canwest News Service this weekend while recovering from surgery at a transplant center in Nicosia.
Sabloff praised her donor and the Jesus Christians in general, who give up their kidneys "out of spiritual and religious conviction, and just personal goodwill - because they are saving somebody's life. They are truly saving lives, and that's more than I can say for our government."
Falkingham said: "I just think it's really important to get the message out there that this is something people can do. It's almost like we've become so afraid that there may be money being exchanged or some coercion, that we've forgotten that this is something people can do to help someone out, and that there are many people who would step forward."
After finding each other in 2006 at an Internet site that links kidney patients with potential donors, Sabloff and Falkingham searched for a hospital to carry out the transplant to extend her life and fulfil his dream of giving the ultimate gift. Read the full story.
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