In the summer of 2017 four Chicago-area residents needed kidney transplants but did not have matching donors. At Northwestern Memorial Hospital, they got the organs they required from willing strangers through a paired exchange program.

Pictured: Loretta and Lee Jenkins relax with their children at home in Bolingbrook, Ill. on June 28, 2017. The Jenkins are two of eight people participating in this kidney transplant exchange. 

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Kevin Condreva spends time with his sister and father before his operation to receive a new kidney on June 29, 2017. Condreva, who is only 22, was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy at 15 and received a kidney from his mother at 17. This will be his second transplant operation.

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Donna Spans, Kevin Condreva's aunt, preps for surgery on June 29, 2017 . Spans, a nurse from Tinley Park, Ill., is giving up her kidney so her nephew can be healthy and end his nightly dialysis.

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Members of the Northwestern Memorial Hospital transplant surgery team wheel Donna Spans into the operating room on June 29, 2017.

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Surgeons inspect and prepare a kidney before transplanting it on June 29, 2017.

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Surgeons use arthroscopic tools during an operation to remove a kidney from a donor on June 30, 2017. According to Joseph Leventhal, director of the kidney and pancreas transplant program, the technique “has made the idea of donating a less scary undertaking” because it’s safer than open surgery and recovery is much more rapid.

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Medical staff in the operating room during a transplant operation on June 30, 2017. At Northwestern Memorial Hospital, 20 to 30 percent of living donor transplants are done through the paired exchange program.

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Kevin Condreva speaks with a nurse in his recovery room on June 30, 2017, the day after receiving a new kidney.

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Mia Henderson, R.N., gathers supplies before checking in on her patients recovering from transplant surgeries on June 30, 2017 .

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Patricia Tripolitakis takes a walk with her daughter through the recovery ward on June 30, 2017, the day after receiving her new kidney. Getting patients up and walking soon after surgery helps promote healing.

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Donna Spans rides the elevator with her sister and a nurse on June 30, 2017. Due to the minimally invasive procedure, she is able to check out of the hospital the day following her operation.

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As some patients recover, surgeons continue to operate on other patients involved in the swap on June 30, 2017. The team must complete eight operations in two days as part of this transplant chain.

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Lee Jenkins receives a kidney at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on June 30, 2017. Jenkins, a forklift operator was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in 2011.

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Surrounded by family, Patricia Tripolitakis checks on her husband Leo after his surgery on June 30, 2017.

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Loretta and Lee Jenkins are back on their feet on July 1, 2017, the day after their operations. “I just feel like a new man,” said Lee.

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From left, Steve Boone, Leo Tripolitakis, Kevin Condreva, Patricia Tripolitakis and Donna Spans gather before a press conference on July 7, 2017 . The recipient and donor matches are kept confidential during the procedures, and revealed at the press conference once everybody involved in the chain has recovered.

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Lee Jenkins, center, who received a kidney from Leo Tripolitakis, left, speaks to the media about the kidney swap process at a press conference on July 7, 2017.

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