Tags: maake kemoeatu | quit | ravens | donate | kidney | brother

Ma'ake Kemoeatu Quit Ravens to Donate Kidney to Steeler Brother

Image: Ma'ake Kemoeatu Quit Ravens to Donate Kidney to Steeler Brother
Ma'ake Kemoeatu #96 of the Baltimore Ravens. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 19 Sep 2014 10:11 AM

Ma'ake Kemoeatu and his younger brother Chris grew up in a tough family but the two former NFL players have no problem saying "I love you" to each other, especially after the older brother retired from football to donate a kidney to his sibling.

The two men are midway through their recovery processes but everything appears to be going well, according to USA Today.

The Hawaii natives said growing up tough was a part of life but Ma'ake said when he saw Chris growing through pain late in his playing career, he knew something was wrong.

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"I've seen him struggle in the last three years of his career, fighting through a lot because of his kidney," Ma'ake said at a press conference at the University of Maryland Medical Center this week. "When we found out he needed a transplant, we had to stop our careers because his health was most important to us."

Ma'ake Kemoeatu is a former player with the Baltimore Ravens and won a Super Bowl title in 2012 while younger brother Chris earned two Super Bowl rings playing on the offensive line with the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

While Ma'ake Kemoeatu could have continued to play, he said it was a no-brainer for him to retire to be by his brother's side, wrote USA Today. In fact, he had to fight with his father to see which one would donate their kidney to Chris.

"The doctor said we could pass as twins to do this surgery," Ma'ake Kemoeatu told USA Today. "My dad wanted to do it, and we kind of got into it because I didn't want him to do it. I'm the oldest of seven kids so it was my responsibility to take care of my younger brothers and sisters."

The brothers have talked about moving back to Hawaii and working with children through their foundation, they told ABC News. They also opened up the experience to documentary cameras.

"We've been gone from home for a long time," said Chris Kemoeatu. "The last two years gave us a lot of time to think and reevaluate where we're at with life and making the transition from football to the normal life."

The brothers told ABC News that the kidney transplant experience, captured in the documentary under the working title "A Brother's Journey," has brought them and the family closer together.

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Ma'ake Kemoeatu and his younger brother Chris grew up in a tough family but the two former NFL players have no problem saying "I love you" to each other, especially after the older brother retired from football to donate a kidney to his sibling.
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2014-11-19
Friday, 19 Sep 2014 10:11 AM
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