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Eagles fan receives new kidney from Patriots fan, gives him a T-shirt in return

CBS Sports logo CBS Sports 5/4/2018 Kevin Skiver
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Things leading up to the Super Bowl were a bit vitriolic between fans of the Eagles and Patriots, two of the more heated fanbases in the NFL. While the Eagles were thirsting for the franchise's first Super Bowl title, the Pats were seeking No. 6, and the tensions showed. But a feel-good story emerged from the ashes of that matchup when lifelong Eagles fan Patricia Pizzimenti received a kidney from Patriots fan John Houlihan, and Houlihan got a gift (albeit not nearly as nice) from Pizzimenti in return.

Pizzimenti and Houlihan had never met, but Houlihan gave Pizzimenti his kidney on March 8, just a month after the Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII. He met Pizzimenti on Wednesday at Yale New Haven Hospital, where the transplants occurred.

Pizzimenti rewarded Houlihan with a T-shirt that read "Can you believe I gave a kidney to an Eagles fan?" which he was clearly flattered by. Pizzimenti had a matching shirt of her own that read "Can you believe I took a kidney from a Patriots fan?"

"Apparently my sense of humor transferred with my kidney," Houlihan said, via WTNH News 8. "And Patricia decided to remind me that the Patriots lost the Super Bowl."

Pizzimenti, meanwhile, may be a bit softer toward the Patriots -- but she isn't just going to become a fan.

"Well, I'll take Gronk," she said, "I don't know about anyone else!"

The saga started when Pizzimenti's daughter-in-law, Amanda, offered to donate her kidney to Patricia. Amanda wasn't a match, but Amanda did donate to a stranger: Desmond Padilla, a father of four, whom she also met for the first time on Wednesday after donating on March 8. 

It's a warm and fuzzy story between what are clearly some passionate fans. Although it may be a bit much to ask them to watch next year's Super Bowl together if the Patriots and Eagles meet up again for a rubber match.


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