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Media Reports Say Australia's 'Free Hugs Guy' to Donate Kidney to Stranger

by Rajashri on September 22, 2008 at 1:36 PM
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Media Reports Say Australia's 'Free Hugs Guy' to Donate Kidney to Stranger

Local media reports are indicating that an Australian man known around the world for giving free hugs to anyone who asks, is planning to go one step further by donating one of his kidneys to a stranger.

Juan Mann, who came to worldwide attention in 2004 after a video of him dispensing free hugs in Sydney's central business district appeared on YouTube, expects to undergo surgery next year.

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"I am young, I am fit, I am healthy, I have two kidneys," the 26-year-old, who does not use his real name, told the Sun-Herald.

"I don't really drink. I don't need that second one and someone will be able to get out of hospital."

Mann will face psychiatric and physical tests in hospital before he can make the donation, the process of which will be filmed and later broadcast online, the paper said.
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"I will never meet the (recipient); I will never know if the transplant is a success or a failure; I will never know if my kidney kills the person," Mann said.

"Apparently once you give your kidney you will never feel whole.

"(But) I'll get a cool scar and apparently chicks dig scars."

Mann, who spends about one day a week holding a 'FREE HUGS' sign above his head in Sydney's Pitt Street Mall, has inspired free hugs movements around the world.

Source: AFP
RAS/SK
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