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Minnesota man donates kidney to neighbor in need

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An Oakdale, Minnesota man got a second chance at life thanks to a friend who lives down the street.

Melvin Freeman was on the verge of kidney failure, but last April his neighbor, Chuck Paulson, offered to help, according to FOX 9.

"I went to my wife first, and said 'I'm thinking about doing this. What do you think?' And her reaction was, 'if you don't, I will,'" Paulson told FOX 9.

The kidneys help the body remove waste from the blood. If kidneys aren't functioning properly, dangerous levels of waste can accumulate in the blood, according to the Mayo Clinic. More than 70,000 people are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant in the United States, according to the University of Minnesota. Thanks to Paulson, Freeman didn't have to wait on the long list.

After multiple tests and months of waiting for results, the men had a successful transplant surgery at Hennepin County Medical Center, FOX 9 says. Doctors released Paulson just a few days later and Freeman went home on Saturday, where he was greeted by neighbors, including Paulson.

This isn't the first time a Minnesotan has either donated or received a kidney from a caring donor: A friend of rapper P.O.S. donated a kidney to the Minnesota musician earlier this month. This winter, a Cottage Grove man got several living-donor kidney transplant offers after building a kidney snow sculpture. A Minnesota man donated his kidney to help a Minneapolis police officer. In 2013, a donor traveled from Australia to donate a kidney to a local man.

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