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Marion Barry to Get Kidney Transplant

Barry has blamed his failure to file tax returns on his health woes. (Gerald Martineau/Post)

D.C. Council member Marion Barry will undergo a kidney transplant tomorrow.
"He was admitted to Howard University Hospital this morning, and his surgery is scheduled for Friday," said Bernadette Tolson, Barry's chief of staff.

Dr. Clive O. Callender, chairman of the surgery department at Howard University Hospital and founder of the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP), will perform the procedure, Tolson said.

Tolson said he is receiving the kidney from a family friend. "He found his own donor for the kidney transplant," she said. The surgery was first reported by NBC4. Though other news outlets have reported that the donor is female, Tolson would not disclose any details.

Barry publicly revealed his kidney troubles last week to WUSA-TV (Channel 9) after federal prosecutors asked a judge to send the 72-year-old to jail for violating his 2006 probation for previous tax offenses because he failed to file his 2007 tax returns in a timely manner. The former mayor said his illness distracted him from filing his overdue taxes despite being threatened with jail.

-- Hamil R. Harris and Nikita Stewart

By Mike McPhate  |  February 19, 2009; 12:11 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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I don't mean to come off as callous. But should a 72 y/o former addict and alcoholic come before someone on the list that has a longer life span? For a black man, he has lived longer than his life expectancy. How much longer is he likely to live versus the cost of giving him a kidney?
Anyway, he is getting the kidney. I wish him luck. I would not let HU fix a broken bone on me.

Posted by: nathanmboggs1 | February 19, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

nathanmboggs1: The article clearly states Barry is receiving an organ from a "family friend." He's not taking space on the cadaver organ waiting list.

Posted by: MichaelFraase | February 19, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

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