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Voice of the Bulldogs, Paul Loeffler, donates kidney in memory of his late father

FRESNO, Calif. - An emotional story involving two friends, one special gift and the perfect timing that made it all work. 

It was not just any gift, it was life-saving. Between two men with a connection that led to a perfect match.

If you've ever attended a Fresno State football, men's basketball or baseball game, chances are, you've heard Paul Loeffler calling the play by plays.

He's the Voice of the Fresno State Bulldogs.

But not too long ago, it was a different voice calling the shots.

"I had amazing parents who taught me to trust in the Lord with all my heart, lean not on my own understanding and trust him to direct my path," Loeffler said.

That path, led him to Michael Alexander.

"We used to go to The Well where Paul Loeffler and his family goes, we used to be greeters and see him on Sunday mornings," Alexander said.

Alexander said he was born with just one kidney, "The first one I got was from my brother and it lasted 17 years."

After that, he needed a second miracle to get him through the game of life.

"There are hundreds of people out there on dialysis waiting someday to get a kidney," Alexander said.

But for Alexander there was no wait. Like a quarterback handing a football off to a running back, Loeffler handed off his kidney to his brother in Christ.

"I went home and told my wife and she said sure, prayed about it and it just felt like it was something I was supposed to do," Loeffler said.

Because he understood the importance of the gift of life.

"My dad was a diabetic from the age of eight and eventually his kidneys failed," Loeffler said.

His dad waited almost four years to receive a kidney from a deceased donor.

"It gave me eight extra years with my dad which were really important years for me," Loeffler said.

And when his dad's kidney's failed again, Loeffler wanted to donate one of his own, but his father wouldn't let him.

Now, decades later, he said it was God's timing for him to give those years to Alexander.

"I wasn't supposed to give my kidney to my dad, his race was finished but when I saw Mike and Linda, to be able to help that process just a little bit to me, that's just a great privilege," Loeffler said.

The two are forever joined. 

"We have become more than close friends because I have part of him in me, I'm a twin of Paul Loeffler's, the older twin," Alexander said.

A connection they now call Bobby.

"He said wait you need to name the kidney so I just said go with Bobby, that was my dad's name, for me that's a big reason why I did this," Loeffler said.

Loeffler is now back at work for the Bulldogs and Alexander said he is doing well.

They both said they hope this story raises awareness for kidney donation and transplants.


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