French surfer donates kidney to Hawaiian friend

December 28, 2012 | Surfing
Buanoi and Trawalter: surf friends forever

Stéphane Trawalter, a Californian surfer from France, is going to donate a kidney to a Hawaiian friend and Desert Storm Veteran.

Surfing is the center of this warm story. Stéphane Trawalter, a passionate surfer from the Alsace region of France, has moved to California looking for waves.

Kai Buanoi, a Hawaiian surfer, has health, kidney and heart problems due to the agents he was exposed to during Desert Storm.

Both surfers have met each other at Tourmaline Surf Park, where they became friends for life. Buanoi needs a kidney transplant and Trawalter offered his regulatory organ.

"I met Kai two years ago, while surfing. At first, I was scared of this big Hawaiian dude, but very quickly he became more than my best friend. He became the big brother I never had", explains Stéphane Trawalter.

"Kai is always in a good mood, always cheering everybody up, always happy. He is driven by helping others. He taught me what true 'Aloha' spirit is, that surfing is deeper than riding waves. It changed my life forever".

Compatibility tests have proved that they match and surgery will take place on the 24th January, at the VA hospital, in Portland.

However, Stéphane will be out of commission (and income) for at least two months, following the operation. To help with his expenses a fund raising event has been organized for the 13th January 2012, at the Voulez-Vous Bistro, in La Jolla. Can you help?

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