CPD of­fi­cer re­ceives life­sav­ing kid­ney trans­plant from sis­ter, a fel­low Chicago cop

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY SAM CHARLES, STAFF RE­PORTER scharles@sun­times.com | @samjcharle­s

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

Mar­garet Cole­man

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