Skip to content

    Men's Health

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    George Lopez Finds a Perfect Match

    When the comedian needed a new kidney, his wife, Ann, donated one of her own.
    By
    WebMD Magazine - Feature
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    "I'll give you one of mine," Ann Lopez said to her husband the moment the couple learned he would need a kidney transplant. He thought she was joking. But George Lopez, star of ABC's The George Lopez Show, is the comic, not his wife.

    And so, just before sunrise on a Tuesday in April of 2005, the Lopezes arrived at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where they were prepped for surgery in neighboring rooms. Right before Ann was wheeled to the operating room --- her surgery began first --- she gave George a letter and a rosary.

    Recommended Related to Men

    Gray Anatomy

    Gray hair creeps up on you — sometimes literally. I was in my 30s, sporting a full beard, when I first noticed a few gray hairs appearing. Then there were more than just a few. It wasn’t long before the lumberjack image was beginning to give way to something closer to Old Father Time. It wasn’t just the image that bothered me. It was the way I felt. Sure, gray hair is supposed to make men look distinguished. To give them gravitas. Look at Bill Clinton. Look at the baby-faced newsman Anderson Cooper,...

    Read the Gray Anatomy article > >

    "I wrote that I was doing this out of love, and that I had faith in the operation," Ann recalls. "To me, this was about us, about our daughter, Mayan. But George, he comes from a very dysfunctional family, a horrific childhood. It was hard for him to accept that someone would give him the gift of life."

    Ann remembers feeling excited, almost fearless, and definitely ready to get the operation over with. Not George.

    "It was harder for him, because I was taken first," says Ann, who knew her husband was worried about her.

    "I was crying. I thanked her and I told her I loved her," George recalls. "I was more concerned about her than I was about myself."Ann's operation lasted about two and a half hours. George's more complicated surgery took five. Both were successful. That night, tired and in pain, but relieved that it was over, the Lopezes lay in separate hospital rooms and talked to each other on the phone.

    "I love you," Ann told George. "We're on the other side."

    A Life With Kidney Disease

    Getting to the other side was not easy. In April 2004, doctors told George the inevitable surgery would take place the following April. But first, there were 24 episodes of The George Lopez Show to be shot. The comedian, whose rise to stardom on the stand-up circuit was due in no small part to his relentless touring schedule, was used to working long hours both on the road and on his hit show, which first aired in 2002. But nothing prepared him for this.

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

    Today on WebMD

    man coughing
    Men shouldn’t ignore.
    man swinging in hammock
    And how to get out it.
     
    shaving tools
    On your shaving skills.
    muscular man flexing
    Four facts that matter.
     
    Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
    Slideshow
    Thoughtful man sitting on bed
    Quiz
     
    Man taking blood pressure
    Slideshow
    doctor holding syringe
    Slideshow
     
    Condom Quiz
    Quiz
    thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
    Slideshow
     
    man running
    Quiz
    older couple in bed
    Video