The NFL has been in the news for all the wrong reasons over the past few weeks, so this story is a nice reminder that those stories aren't representative of the people who play the sport as a whole.
Brothers Ma’ake and Chris Kemoeatu have always put family first, even in college when Ma'ake was suspended for buying textbooks for his brother, which the college said was inappropriate, and ended up seeing him suspended from the biggest game of his career at the time.
Ma'ake Kemoeatu winning the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens
Both brothers made it through to the NFL, and both of them have won the Super Bowl in their time, but for Chris it was a struggle, as he dealt with kidney pain since he was a young man in school, and as he got older the pain got worse. In 2011, he was diagnosed with a kidney disease, and the pain became too much for him to play on and continue his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, so at the end of that season he retired, and a year later at the end of the 2012 season, his brother Ma'ake decided that he was going to do whatever he could to help.
Chris Kemoeatu with the Steelers fans
That meant giving up his career to be with his brother, and also giving up something else: one of his kidneys. Both brothers had a tough program to go through to lose some weight before the surgery (having played on the line, they were both fairly hefty lads), and in the process, it turned out that Chris also had a heart condition and needed a second surgery.
However, after that was successful, both brothers came through the procedure with flying colours and things are looking up for them despite them being retired from the game. At a press conference at the University of Maryland, Ma'ake said "when we found out he needed a transplant, we had to stop our careers because his health was most important to us".
With so much bad press for the organisation in recent weeks, this is a nice change that shows that the league is also full of great people who do amazing things for others.
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