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Message - December 12, 2001
Fender to Have Kidney Operation


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Singer Freddy Fender, who is battling health problems including hepatitis C, will have an operation next month to receive a kidney donated by his 21-year-old daughter.

"It's not that easy to ask someone for an organ," said Fender, who scored the '70s hits ``Before the Next Teardrop Falls'' and ``Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.''

The 64-year-old Fender, who lives in Corpus Christi, Texas, said Tuesday that he also needs a liver transplant because of cirrhosis. Doctors would like to do both operations at once to keep trauma to his body to a minimum, but he can no longer wait for a liver to become available.

"Freddy needs a kidney more than he needs a liver," said his wife, Vangie Fender. "He can't tolerate dialysis very well. It makes him weak."

Fender has dialysis every other day, and without a transplant, he will soon need it every day, said his publicist Kirt Webster of Nashville.

The transplant is scheduled for January at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Fender is to receive the organ donated by daughter Marla Garcia of Jacksonville, Fla., who recently had a baby.

Fender has three other children, two of whom weren't eligible because they have diabetes, his wife said.

``I don't have any words for how we feel about Marla volunteering,'' she said. ``I get goose bumps every time I think about it. She is so young.''

Official Freddy Fender Web site:


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