NFL Player Retires to Give His Brother a Kidney

Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens nose tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu (96) celebrates Baltimore Ravens victory in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-98348 ORIG FILE ID: 20130203_mam_usa_176.jpg

We lost another pro football player, but this time, it’s for a beautiful reason.

When Ma’ake Kemoeatu’s brother Chris started suffering kidney troubles back in 2011, Ma’ake took what he thought would be a temporary break from pro football, leaving the Ravens after the end of the 2012 season to spend time with him.

Then, Chris took a turn for the worse, and it turned out that he needed a new kidney. Ma’ake and his father were both matches, but Ma’ake refused to let his father go through with the operation:

“My dad wanted to do it, and we kind of got into it because I didn’t want him to do it. I’m the oldest of seven kids so it was my responsibility to take care of my younger brothers and sisters.”

Instead, Ma’ake stepped up as a donor, and, in doing so, gave up the possibility of returning to a career in professional football.

Ma’ake is for real about that whole “taking care of my brothers and sisters” thing too: as a college student, Ma’ake was blocked from playing the final game of his senior year – a penalty he “earned” for using scholarship money to buy textbooks for his younger brother, who could not afford them.

So basically this dude is an all-around hero. We need more of those.

Read the full story here, unless you’re in some kind of public setting where weeping openly would be frowned upon.