Kidney donor for hero

By Susan Edelman New York Post

A 9/11 hero in desperate need of a kidney transplant has been rescued by a big-hearted anonymous donor.

Rich Volpe, an NYPD narcotics detective, was diagnosed at age 34 with kidney disease, about a year after serving six months at Ground Zero. He received a healthy kidney at Columbia Presbyterian Transplant Center on Thursday.

“I’m very hopeful about my future,” Volpe, 45, said. “I’m so fortunate to have somebody step forward.”

The life-saving kidney came from an anonymous person who read about Volpe’s plight three months ago in The Post. His brother and a friend had volunteered, but were ruled out for medical reasons.

“I wish I could meet him or her – they saved my life. But how do you thank somebody who put themselves as risk to save me? When asked as a kid, ‘Who’s your hero?’ I always said, ‘My dad.’ Now I have another hero, whoever it is.”

Volpe, who was off-duty near his home in Mount Kisco, raced to the World Trade Center on 9/11, arriving minutes after the second tower collapsed. He spent days on the toxic pile, digging for survivors, and later spent months raking for remains at Ground Zero and the Fresh Kills Landfill. He recently got married, but had to cancel a wedding in Italy because of his worsening illness.

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