In the News

SLR Transplant team featured on ABC's 2020

- Dec 12, 2008

'Life Given Back' to New Mom by ABC News Colleague

'Little Blessed Baby' Inspires Kidney Donation, Leads to Remarkable Journey

By BOB BROWN

This is a story about two friends, a kidney transplant and the complications that arose along the way.

We've come to take the transplants for granted. Around 17,000 kidney transplants are performed each year.

This story was close to me because I knew both the donor and the recipient. The only person I didn't know was the one who was the inspiration behind what happened. Her name was Madeleine -- Madi, for short. She was 5 months old at the time.

The donor's name was Joan LeFosse. She assigns production staff who gather story material for "20/20," where I work.

The recipient was Ani Mozian-Whitney, a field producer who once received most of her assignments from Joan.

I can't be objective in writing this, because I've worked with them for years at ABC. I attended Joan's wedding and a birthday celebration for Ani. We've all mourned the loss of loved ones who died too young.

But there was also an unexpected element: You find out that however close you thought you were to your friends, you may not have known the most important thing about them.

One thing I never realized was how deep the friendship between Joan and Ani went. Both had gone through emotional havoc in their lives. For Joan, it was related to an overwhelming feeling of helplessness as the friend and mentor who had seen unique potential in her and helped place her at ABC -- a high school teacher named Nancy Pfifferling -- died of lung cancer.