Couple donates kidneys as payback, and more

A San Diego husband and wife have become the first U.S. couple to each donate kidneys to the National Kidney Registry.

Couple donates kidneys as payback

A San Diego husband and wife have become the first U.S. couple to each donate kidneys to the National Kidney Registry. Alexis Wesley underwent surgery this week to give a kidney to the organization that connects patients with donors; her husband, Charles, had done the same 18 months ago. The couple saw their donations as payback: Both of their children suffer from a rare joint disorder and have received several free operations to help them walk. Donating a kidney, Alexis said, is “a really, really simple way to save someone’s life.”

Venezuelan with muscular dystrophy runs marathon

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A man with muscular dystrophy completed the Chicago Marathon this week, almost 17 hours after he set off. Maickel Melamed, of Caracas, Venezuela, crossed the finish line in the early hours of the morning after the race started. Event authorities stayed on to record his time and give him a finisher’s medal, while hundreds of supporters applauded and cheered him from the sidelines. The exhausted Melamed, 38, said he felt “peace inside” after his 16-hour, 46-minute feat. “When you cross this finish line, you think to yourself, I can do anything in my life,” he said.

Cleaning up the National Mall

An artist has defied the government shutdown to keep the monuments of Washington, D.C., clean and free of garbage and dead leaves. Chris Cox began a one-man cleanup mission after seeing trash piling up on the National Mall, where groundskeepers have been furloughed. Cox said he moved over 200 trash cans, and soon took a lawn mower and leaf blower to the Mall to do more work. He implored others to help the National Park Service. “Instead of showing up with a picnic basket, show up with a rake and a trash bag,” he said. “They need our help right now.”

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