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Al Harris needed a kidney. A fellow Marine stepped up to help.
08262018 KIDNEY 004
Al Harris points Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, to the military badge collection in his home. The Marine recently received a new kidney from friend and fellow Marine, John Morrell. - photo by Austin Steele
Twice each week, around 5:45 a.m., Al Harris makes the 43-mile drive in his white Chevrolet Tahoe from his home in Flowery Branch to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. He usually listens to music, but sometimes sits in silence. Occasionally, he makes a phone call or two. No matter what he chooses to do on that trip, though, Harris is always thinking about how thankful he is for his kidney. Harris, a retired Marine of 25 years who served all along the East Coast and overseas in Iraq, recently received a new kidney from John Morrell, a man he served with in the Marines. The new kidney has drastically changed his life following an April 2009 diagnosis of polycystic kidney disease. So, making that drive to Atlanta to check that everything is on track is no problem.