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Steinmeier takes leave to donate kidney to wife

DDP/DPA/The Local · 23 Aug 2010, 10:24

Published: 23 Aug 2010 10:24 GMT+02:00

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“I will be the donor myself,” he said at a press conference in Berlin, explaining he would stop working for “several weeks.”

Steinmeier’s 48-year-old wife Elke Büdenbender has been suffering from what he called an “advanced kidney ailment” and needs a transplant. Due to long waiting periods for donors, their family decided he should be the donor.

The 54-year-old politician said he plans to enter medical care within the day, and the transplant is scheduled for later this week.

During his absence SPD deputy parliamentary group leader Joachim Poß will take over, a move which has been approved by party leader Sigmar Gabriel.

Steinmeier, who is also a former Foreign Minister, said he hoped to return to his duties in October, insisting that he would not step down from politics after the surgery.

Story continues below…

He and his wife have been married since 1995 and have a daughter together.

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:46 August 23, 2010 by NYsteve
A very noble thing to do....so many people wait for so long on lists of people needing organs.....everyone should become an organ donor....here in the US more and more people are becoming organ donors simply by "checking" a box on the back of their driver's license...it's that simple. I don't know what the attitude toward this is in Europe but I hope it catches on like wild-fire! It saves SO many lives!
19:05 August 23, 2010 by wxman
This is what you do, without even thinking, when you are each half of the same whole.
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