CPD officer receives lifesaving kidney transplant from sister, a fellow Chicago cop
When Chicago Police Officer Joanna Lukasik Millan needed a kidney transplant earlier this year, she didn’t need to look far for a donor.
The organ that would save her life would soon come from someone in both her personal family and professional family: her sister, CPD Officer Margaret Coleman.
“For me, it was a no-brainer to save my baby sister if I could,” said Coleman, who is four years older than Millan.
The siblings underwent a successful kidney transplant procedure in late May at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Speaking to reporters Thursday at CPD headquarters, Millan said she was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease when she was in her twenties. The officers’ father also suffered from the disease.
Asked how she felt when she learned her donor would be not just a colleague, but a close relative, Millan said, “We are a big blue family, so I felt doubly lucky. She could save my life on the street and now she’s saving me at home as well. It’s almost indescribable, the feeling of knowing that she saved my life.”
Millan and Coleman have been with the CPD for 15 and 23 years, respectively, and are assigned to the department’s Internal Affairs and Asset Forfeiture divisions.
Dr. Joseph Levanthal, the surgeon who performed the procedure, stressed the importance of organ donation by those who are still alive.
Levanthal said there are currently 4,000 people in Illinois who are on the organ donation wait list, the majority of whom need a kidney. Those on the list must wait for someone to die before their organs are harvested.
“The story of these two remarkable sisters illustrates the power of living donation,” Levanthal said.
Joanna Lukasik Millan