RANDY PENCH/rpench@sacbee.com

Tad Suwa, who is on medical leave from his job as a Sacramento firefighter, receives dialysis recently in West Sacramento. His own kidneys have mostly failed. "It's still hard to believe that this has happened," he said. "My dream came true (as a firefighter) for the past 10 years, and I desperately cling to the hope that I can soon return to helping others."

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