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ODD-KidneyCouple 05-04 0254 routed by d.ne

Bad kidney saves marriage

A couple who grew apart and had agreed to split up were reunited by a life-threatening crisis.

After more than 10 years of marriage, Chip and Cindy Altemos agreed about 5 years ago to separate, see other people, and begin divorce proceedings. But when 48-year-old Chip was hospitalized with kidney failure in September, Cindy, 49, offered him one of hers.

As a former phlebotomist who had worked with renal patients, Cindy Altemos said she knew "exactly what he was up against," and had long thought he would eventually need a transplant because he had had juvenile diabetes. When they married she had promised to be a donor.

The transplant took place Feb. 21.

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Chip Altemos said his wife’s gesture put an end to his new relationship and to talk of divorce. The two will be married 17 years in October.

"We’re still together," he said. "I guess just being around each other, we slowly fell back in love again."

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