Philly Police Member Puts Life On Line In An Unexpected Way - FOX 13 News

Philly Police Member Puts Life On Line In An Unexpected Way

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A member of the Philadelphia Police Department put her life on the line in a way you might not think.

Maria Gonzalez has been working as a Philadelphia Police Communications Dispatcher for the past 15 years. She's revered by her co-workers and a mother of three healthy children.

However, someone else in her family was having serious health problems, her 21-year-old nephew Daniel.

"He has FSGS and his kidneys were not functional, they weren't working," she said. Maria wanted to see if she could help.

She soon learned her kidney was a match, the only match in the family.

The problem was, she needed to lose nearly 50 pounds to go through with the organ transplant.

"I already knew what I had to do. I was completely focused and committed at that point," she said.

Maria joined the Battle of the Badges weight loss challenge between the police department and the fire department in April.

She hadn't had much success on previous diets and faced another hurdle, working overnights.

"My coworkers would take me out for walks at two o'clock in the morning and we would always try to make sure we hit a certain amount of steps a night," she said.

She managed to lose the 50 pounds, but she didn't stop there.

To date Maria has shed 96 pounds, and in November she helped out a family member in a way very few ever can.

"It was very emotional for the whole family. They were worried about me, and worried about him as well," she said.

As the biggest loser in the competition, Weight Watchers awarded Maria with a new microwave to share with her co-workers.

While she gave a new kidney to her nephew, she says he provided something just as special. Her better health now gives her a better quality of life with her children. Proof that sometimes, you really do get what you give.

"I say my kidney saved your life, but you saved my life mine in return. So we're even," she said.

Maria said she plans to continue to monitor her weight and thanks her co-workers and family for all their support during her journey.

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