CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Craig Powers says if he had to donate one of his kidneys to his older brother, David, he would do it all over again.

“I feel blessed that I could give my brother a kidney,” Craig said.

Craig is a 56-year-old Delbarton native, 11 years younger than David. Craig said that during their childhood, David represented much more than just a brother, and looked up to him.

“He’s like a father figure to me. He took me hunting, he took me fishing, we worked together in the coal mines, he gave me a lot of advice as a young man and a young boy, I really look up to him,” Powers said.

21 years ago at Thanksgiving dinner, David made an announcement to the family that his kidneys were working at 14% capacity.

David said he was going on dialysis and on the transplant list. Craig said that same night, he spoke with his wife, then called David to let him know that he wanted to donate one of his own kidneys. For Craig, the choice was easy.

“Didn’t even think twice about it. When he told me he was going to need a kidney if I was the match, I was giving it to him,” Craig said.

For the next several months, Craig went through medical tests, and doctors determined his kidney was a strong match. Then in August 2002, the brothers underwent the transplant.

“It changed his life so dramatically that it gave him a new lease on life,” Craig said.

Cheryl King, the Community Outreach Coordinator at the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) said stories like the Powers brothers show how a transplant can renew an individual’s quality of life.

“To think you can give someone more birthdays to celebrate, more anniversaries to celebrate, graduations, weddings to see, that’s a priceless gift,” King said.

Craig says the two brothers are healthier and closer than ever.

“God gave me two of them [kidneys], the least I could do for him is give him one of them; give the gift of life,” Craig said.