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Unsung Heroes Article from Washington Times

Posted Oct 01 2008 5:07pm
The FBI is celebrating its 100th anniversary this summer, and The Washington Times printed a long article detailing some of the fantastic work done by my collegues. They also included my kidney story which sticks out like a turd in the punchbowl in comparison to the other stories in the article.

It's a nice piece, but I'm far from "unsung".

The complete article can be found at

Here's my section
'Extraordinary' work of unsung heroes

by Jerry Seper and Jennifer Haberkorn, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Friday, July 25, 2008

FBI special agents, working under the motto of "Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity," often are called on to do heroic deeds quietly and with little or no fanfare.

These unsung heroes routinely put themselves in harm's way, making split-second decisions to save lives or complete missions.

Many of the heroic efforts of the bureau's more than 12,500 agents go unnoticed...

Hot-line volunteer

Chicago-based FBI Special Agent Tom Simon doesn't think of himself as a hero. Married, the father of two young children and a crisis hot-line volunteer, he just wanted to do something for someone, so he donated his kidney to a young woman he had never met.

It was, he figured, a perfect match: Brenda Lagrimas was young, looking to start a family and in law enforcement. He got her name from donor Web site and figured it would be a good way to show others that donating a kidney was not that difficult or dangerous.

An FBI agent for a dozen years, Mr. Simon - who investigates major financial and white-collar crimes - underwent laparoscopic surgery in April 2007 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and within a couple of weeks was back on the job.

Six months after the surgery, Mr. Simon wrote to the Kidney Chronicles Web site, saying: "I donated a kidney to a woman named Brenda Lagrimas whom I had never met before embarking on my quest to donate a kidney to a stranger.

"Because of my job as an FBI Special Agent and the odd way that Brenda and I met, we ended up getting a lot of international publicity which led to an increased awareness of living organ donations which, in turn, led others to step forward and donate to strangers.

"Living with one kidney is no different at all from living with two. I'm not lopsided or fatigued or in pain," he said. "Brenda's recovery was slower, which is totally normal. From the moment of the transplant, her new kidney worked perfectly and her kidney-related health problems disappeared. We speak regularly and our families have all met. She went from being a stranger to an organ recipient to a great friend and for that, I am thankful."
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