LA County probation officer's kidney transplant saves mom, stranger

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Los Angeles County probation officer saved his own mother and a stranger through a kidney transplant chain.

Michael Valdez, 37, and Danielle Jones, a Las Vegas teacher, met for the first time Tuesday at the UCLA Medical Plaza. Valdez wanted to donate a kidney to his mother, Nora Cruz, but the two were not a match, so he agreed to take part in a kidney transplant chain.

After Cruz received a kidney from someone else, he donated one of his to Jones, who did not have a donor of her own.

The two share a rare blood type. Jones had been undergoing dialysis for 11 hours a day.

"It's been very rewarding all the way around. It's just a good feeling on the inside to know that you have helped someone else much less a whole chain of people, taking people off the transplant list and just countless lives affected in a positive way," said Valdez.

There were a total of three donors in the chain, with three patients receiving healthy new kidneys. The chain began with an altruistic donor in Denver.

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