Marine brother to give sister life-saving gift

Tyler Page will donate kidney to sister

SAN ANTONIO - In 2008, Nicole Page found out she had the type of kidney disease that former San Antonio Spur Sean Elliott had, called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, or FSGS.

For the last year, she's been on in-home dialysis treatment. The supplies needed for the treatment are stacked in boxes in the family's spare bedroom. But after this week, Nicole will no longer need the supplies if all goes as planned.

Her brother, 19-year-old Tyler Page, insisted on finding out if he was a match, and donating if he was.

"I think he actually texted my mom and said, 'I'll be her donor,'" said Nicole.

The decision came easy for Tyler, but because he's a Marine, the government needed to clear it. On multiple occasions, he had to drive hours away from his base in California to get undergo the testing required by the military. Finally, he received the go-ahead. It will allow Nicole a more normal lifestyle, although it will mean Tyler's military career will never be the same again.

"It takes me out of all the training, any possible deployments in the future," he said. "I won't be deployable at all for the rest of my career. I had to miss going to Afghanistan with my unit that just deployed two weeks ago."

Tyler said any Marine will do anything to deploy with their unit. But in Tyler's case, he said members of his unit gave him their blessing to give this life-saving gift to his sister.

Their mother, Karen, did not feel comfortable with the decision for Tyler to donate. She was conflicted between a daughter who needed a kidney and a son who would no longer be able to deploy or participate in regular duties required by Marines.

But their father, Rick, is proud of his son for 'stepping up to the plate' and doing something he could not.

"I think every father out there feels helpless when they can't help their own son or daughter," he said.

Nothing will ever stop the usual sibling rivalry that comes with being brother and sister, but they know from now one, their bond will be one-of-a-kind.


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