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West Virginia organ donor and recipient siblings share their story, encourage others to donate


The Register-Herald

Paul Billups, left, and his brother Mark Billups, both from Mt. Hope, look over the Donate Life flag after it was raised at the Beckley VA Medical Center during a ceremony recognizing organ donors and recipients. Paul Billups received a kidney transplant in 2008 that was donated by his brother Mark.
(Register-Herald photo by Rick Barbero)

BECKLEY, W.Va. When his older brother needed a kidney transplant 10 years ago, Mark Billups didn’t hesitate.

“It was a pretty easy decision,” Mark said. “We had to share our toys. I had two (kidneys) and he had none.”

His brother Paul had been diagnosed with a condition that caused his kidneys to fail. When Mark offered, Paul quickly shot him down.

“I fought him,” Paul said. “I said I’ll go on a transplant list. I didn’t want to take his.”

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