ONALASKA, Wisconsin (WXOW) – John Brinckman is known as a local defense attorney and municipal judge.
He's a man who goes from case to case, and from courtroom to courtroom.
But recently he's been slowed down by his need for a kidney transplant.
"I'd like you all to meet somebody who means so much to me. We've been friends for a long time," said Brinckman.
Now Brinckman and Jeanne Anthony Brandt will be friends even longer.
On May 14th, Brandt saved Brinckman's life.
"Needless to say I was feeling very down and at the end, and it turned around just like that on Sept.1 when Jeanne said, 'I want to do this,'" Brinckman said.
Brandt volunteered to donate her kidney at a time when Brinckman's health was declining, fast.
He was almost forced to go on dialysis after his original donor fell through.
That would mean giving up his job as a defense attorney and a municipal judge, and normal life with his daughters and friends.
"I just didn't want to lose him and he was such a good friend and such an amazing person, we can't just let him go," Brandt said.
Brandt's decision was wrapped in decades of friendship.
Her husband, Jeff, was Brinckman's college roommate at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
The group of friends has taken several trips together. In fact, Brandt told Brinckman of her decision at their annual trip to a Badger game.
"I wanted to make sure you wanted to do this because it is a big thing," Brinckman said.
"It is a big thing, but it was the right thing," Brandt said.
"And she did it," Brinckman said. "How do you say, 'thank you?'"
Brinckman started by throwing Brandt a party Sunday. It was a chance for family and friends to meet the woman who gave a part of herself to help him.
"Some of us actually make a difference in another's life," Brinckman said. "I want the world to meet Jeanne Brandt. She's a wonderful lady."
It's about three months after Brinckman's surgery. He said his recovery is on the right track. Brandt said she bounced back immediately after the procedure.
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