The Electrical Worker online
October 2013

Letters to the Editor index.html Home    print Print    email Email

Go to
A Selfless Act

When my daughter Alie was 7 years old, she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. We were devastated to learn that eventually she would need a kidney transplant at a future date. As years went by her kidney function continued to decline and the time for transplant was close enough at hand for the doctors to tell us to start looking for a relative or close friend who would be willing to donate. Having a living relative that would be willing to donate would give her the best chance of her transplant having the most success. I had one family member, besides myself, who went for the potential donor workup. My sister was a different blood type and that immediately ruled her out. I was ruled out as a donor due to having high blood pressure.

It was about this time that I started working at the Brandon Shores Air Scrubber Project and was running a crew of about 12 to 15 guys. I was laying out work for one of my crew members for the following day so I could take my daughter for a doctor appointment. He then asked me why I was taking off and I told him the story of my daughter. As his eyes began to fill with tears, he looked at me and said, "I don't have any children of my own. I was adopted and I feel like I was put on this earth to make a difference. I want to be the one to give her a kidney." My Local 24 brother, Emanuel Anderson, had just made the most selfless offer possible. I told Emanuel that we did not even know if he would be a match. He said he would go be tested. He was the same blood type as my daughter and his tissue match was good enough to be considered. After a few more medical tests and procedures, he was declared a match. My family often wondered how a stranger would be willing to do so much for a family that he barely knew. It didn't take long for us learn the type of person and brother he is.

On August 28, 2013, my daughter received a healthy kidney from Emanuel. The next day, Emanuel was discharged from the hospital and six days later, my daughter was allowed to come home. Both are doing well. As I see my daughter's health drastically improve every day, I reflect upon Emanuel's kindness and generosity. Needless to say, Emanuel will forever not only be my local union brother, but a family member.

The world would be a much better place if it were filled with more people like him. My family considers him their hero. Many of our local union members have learned the value of true brotherhood.

Randall Collins, Local 24 member
Baltimore, Md.


Alie Collins, now 19, and kidney donor Local 24 member Emanuel Anderson, before his kidney removal surgery.

IBEW_Facebook  From Facebook: Every month the IBEW Facebook page receives thousands of comments from our dynamic and engaged community of members and friends. Starting this month, the Electrical Worker will share some of the best with its readers.

I am the mother of deceased member James Shukait, Ann Arbor, Mich., Local 252. Jim was so proud of his career choice and union brotherhood. His son, Hunter, who is 8 years old, has his hard hat and I am trying to fill it with stickers from around the U.S.A. Could anyone send a sticker from their local to add to his memory hard hat? It would mean so much to him! Cathy Lovelace Shukait, 51295 Judd Road, Belleville, Mich. 48111. Thank you in advance.

Cathy Shukait
Belleville, Mich.