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In addition to being relatives, Susie Percy, her brother Paul Bears, Jr., her father Paul Bears, Sr. and his brother-in-law Bill Cashell all have one thing in common — they each have one kidney.
“Kidney donation is a family affair,” says Susie.
Thirty-four years ago, Bill Cashell gave a kidney to his son Sean, who was born with a rare genetic condition called Alport syndrome. Eleven years later, when Sean needed a new kidney, his Uncle Paul, Sr. stepped forward. And nine years after that, when Sean was experiencing rejection, Paul Jr. offered to donate to his cousin.
Fast forward 14 years.
Photos by Katherine C. Cohen
Theirs is a friendship nurtured by coloring books, built on board games and mad dashes down corridors — but also silently strengthened by nature of a mutual struggle.
Three-year-old Ayden Mosher of New York and 2-year-old Aubrey Ferrell of Tennessee met this fall in a lab at Boston Children’s Hospital.
It was friendship at first sight.
“They were just drawn to each other, and they have been inseparable ever since,” says Aubrey’s mom Janna Ferrell. …
For Jonathan Reed, summer fun goes way beyond wave riding along New England beaches. During a recent weeklong family vacation to Universal Studios in Florida, the Rhode Island fourth-grader visited wave pools at a water park, rode gravity-defying roller coasters and sprinted from one fun-filled attraction to the next.
This dream vacation may not have been as magical if Jonathan had to continually battle ongoing stomach pain.
He loved magic. He loved physics, technology and the solar system too, but it was magic that made his dorky side seem cool. While his friends attempted to act suave with the ladies, 31-year-old Kevin Sullivan didn’t have to try. He had his own charm — magic tricks. He dazzled his nieces and nephews and his large circle of friends, says his sister Katie Sullivan.
Magic was part of his magnetic personality.
One evening, while out with a friend, Kevin began performing magic tricks using picture IDs. He noticed a heart on his friend’s driver’s license and asked what it meant. What followed was a 30-minute conversation about organ donation, which ended with Kevin announcing, “Well of course I’d be an organ donor. I’m awesome! My organs are awesome!”
That was last summer.
A few months later, Kevin lay in a bed in the Intensive Care Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. He had suffered severe brain damage following an accident at work. It was clear he would not recover. …