CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte woman is giving her big sister a piece of herself, literally, to save her life.
“I’m just excited to be able to give her a better life,” Latrenda Martin says.
“Losing my sight, and watching that happen in my life, and still [Latrenda] being there and just the special bond of a little sister watching the big sister,” sister Ann Burris describes.
The two have been side-by-side through life, especially the last 20 years, during Burris’s battle with a progressive auto-immune deficiency. Burris says the disease she lives with is called PSC, the one Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton battled.
“I always have her support,” Burris says. “So now, I’ll have her support and a part of her, too.”
That is, part of her liver.
The pair is getting ready for a life-saving operation for Burris - a liver transplant, from her living donor, and little sister.
“Instead of liver, our word now is ‘livher,’ l-i-v-h-e-r,” she says. “And I am the ‘her.’ It will give me the opportunity to be who I’ve always been.”
Burris is a motivational speaker, but hasn’t been able to get out as much as she’d like.
“Sometimes, the motivation is in my heart, but my body won’t allow me to perform to the level that I’d like to,” she says.
She’s been on multiple lists, and had a handful of close-calls for a transplant, but none that panned out - until the discovery that sister Martin could make it happen.
“We’ve meshed our toughness, and meshed all our love and whatever we have to offer,” Burris says. “So, whoever’s involved with us is getting twice the punch.”
“She would do it for me though, I know that 100 percent,” Martin says. “Absolutely,” her sister answers.
The procedure will happen in early September.