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The Gift Of Life And Love Of The Brotherhood

By Rhodesia Muhammad -Contributing Writer- | Last updated: Sep 24, 2018 - 8:46:26 PM

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Terrence 3X and Rafael X
It was 4 a.m. on April 1, 2015. The hospital room was filled with family and friends holding hands and bowing in prayer.

Two brothers donned in hospital gowns leaned in to give each other cheek to cheek Muslim greetings of peace before going under the knife for what they hoped to be a life-saving operation.

As the families of both men anxiously awaited the outcome, one of the doctors entered the room. Something happened that he had never seen before, he said. The family braced themselves for what seemed like bad news.

Instead the doctor said, “It’s a miracle.”

He reported that as soon as he attached the kidney inside the Muslim who needed the kidney, he started passing urine right away. This was a miracle, the doctor said. Any foreign object that enters the body, the entire body comes together to fight that foreign object, the physician explained.

“Yet, a so-called brown man, a Latino, Mexican and Puerto Rican put his kidney into a Black man, a so-called African American and it took right away and started passing urine; so, it belonged there. All Praise is due to Allah,” said Brother Rafael X, “My Brother and I are one.

Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Rafael X, a Latino Muslim who turns 42 this year, decided to go against the advice of his family and even his doctors to give his fellow F.O.I., Terrence 3X, a Black man, one of his kidneys.


Bro. Rafael said if he passed all the medical requirements needed to be a kidney donor, he was all in.

“We say … if I have a bowl of bean soup and this brother doesn’t have none, he has half and I have half. Now, giving soup is not much of a sacrifice. We can do that. We can give a t-shirt or a pair of shoes, but to give a body part? Now, that’s where the Scripture becomes real because ‘there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for his friend’, (John 15:13),” said Bro. Rafael.

“This was the time to make manifest what I believed,” he added passionately. “Mere belief counts for nothing unless carried into practice, the Qur’an says. All of that was my strength. The Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Teachings of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, the scripture, all of that was my strength and the love for the brotherhood.”

Brother Terrence 3X, the 45-year-old husband of Sister Tina and father of four, moved his family from Detroit to San Antonio, Texas, in 2011 because his job relocated. He was an 18-wheel truck driver for the Department of Transportation. The department requires employees take a medical exam every two years, he noted. Unfortunately, when he returned in 2014 to get re-examined, he noticed his card was only approved for one year. He thought there was some type of mistake made, but was told to see a specialist because his tests showed he had excessive blood in his urine. He found out that not only did he have blood in his urine unseen to the naked eye, but he had too much protein in his urine as well.

“After a biopsy of my kidneys,” Bro. Terrence said, “I found out that 75 percent of my kidneys had shut down and I had only 25 percent kidney function.” This was a result of vasculitis; an inflammation of the blood vessels that can cause changes in the walls of blood vessels, including thickening, weakening, narrowing, and scarring, which can result in organ and tissue damage

“My kidney function dropped to six percent, but by the grace and mercy of an angel called Rafael X, who I had known for a little under two years, I didn’t have to get the worse type of dialysis,” Bro Terrence praised.

The process Bro. Terrence had to go through was called peritoneal dialysis, which included placing a port in his stomach, mid-cavity. The dialysis machine then pumps fluids, basically sugar water, into him. It sits for two hours and then the machine pulls it out along with the toxins on his kidneys, his spleen, and all his mid organs because his kidneys were not able to pull the toxins out of his body, which is what urine does. He Endured this every day for eight hours.

Brother Terrence in bed and Brother Rafael and their mothers.

“I was the student captain over San Antonio’s Study Group at the time,” said Bro. Terrence.

“So I had to let the F.O.I. and the M.G.T. know, the believing community that I wouldn’t be out as much as I wanted to be because I had to be on the dialysis machine. Unbeknownst to me, another F.O.I. from San Antonio, Brother Bernell, called my wife and asked what he would have to do to get tested and what did he have to do to donate his kidney,” Bro. Terrence recalled. “No one knew he had inquired and my wife didn’t even tell me at the time until he was denied because of his blood type.” However, Bro. Rafael befuddled by what he perceived to be disappearing acts by Bro.

Terrence finally asked someone where is he always running off to? One of the brothers explained that Bro. Terrence was on dialysis.

“I didn’t know what dialysis was. I just knew every time we seemed to be having fun as brothers, he would leave early,” said Bro. Rafael. “But when I found out the brother was working during the day and hooking up to a machine for eight hours at night, I wanted to do whatever I could to help him. It was like looking in a mirror. I’m not looking at another individual. I’m looking at me and me is dying … so I got to save me.”

Bro. Rafael began a series of extensive tests, including a blood test to see if they were a match. He said following the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s “How to Eat to Live” prepared him for a trying moment. “I was eating properly, fasting three days every month, exercising, doing my prayers, reading, studying, and living to the best of my ability.

“There was mixed feelings,” Bro. Terrence admitted. “Bro. Rafael’s family didn’t want him to do it and at the time his ex wife didn’t want him to do it. And I felt like I couldn’t ask a Believer to do that. But all the while, he refused to take ‘no’ for an answer.”

“Me and Bro. Terence weren’t high school buddies. We didn't grow up from youth. We didn’t go to each other’s house and barbecue every day, play basketball, or any of this. I knew my brother through the Nation of Islam,” Bro. Rafael explained. “I knew him through his works. I knew that he loved the Minister and I loved the Minister. He loved the program and I loved the program. He loves our people and I love our people. So, no one could deter me.”

Bro. Rafael said his doctors tried to talk him out of it. “We’re concerned for your safety,” said the doctors.

“I was thanking Allah for the opportunity and just wanting to hurry up and get it over with and wanting brother to get his life back,” Bro Rafael stated. “I mean, every day he was hooking up to a machine that cleansed his blood out. It drains you and you’re real tired afterwards.”

The doctors were in awe of Bro. Rafael’s test results. They said the average person with two fully functioning kidneys is at a 60 and that Bro. Rafael was at a 130, which meant they could take half of that and with one kidney, he still be above an average healthy person. Also, he had to get a chest X-ray done and the X-ray technician told Bro. Rafael he had never seen lungs as large as his and that he couldn’t capture it all in one frame.

“The tear jerker was when the nurse was reading off the blood types and the final preparation for the transplant,” said Bro. Terrence.

For Bro. Rafael to qualify as a donor, their blood types had to match. After finding out what Bro. Terrence’s blood type was, Bro. Rafael’s mother didn’t think her son would be able to help because they were not a match. She had birth documents that displayed her son’s blood type. Miraculously though, the blood test results came back that they were a match. “Allah-U-Akbar! (God is the greatest!),” Bro. Terrence declared.

“Bro. Rafael’s mother burst out crying when the nurse was reading the blood type because Bro. Rafael was supposed to have a twin brother, but his brother didn’t make it and it was like he took on all of the attributes of his brother,” said Bro. Terrence.

Bro. Rafael was going through a divorce when he decided to donate his kidney. “In the Holy Qur’an, it says if you give, Allah will bless you ten-fold,” he declared. “After this ordeal, I met a beautiful MGT, Sister Lareesha X and got remarried in 2016. I always wanted 10 children. Here I was a 40-year-old man without any children, but Allah gave me 5 babies because me and my wife had twins and she already had three children. So here, I give one kidney and with 5 children I have 10 kidneys. So, Allah is real, Allah is God, and He does not hold back on his word,” Bro. Rafael said.

Rafael and Terrence
He said his mother was the only one that supported him from day one. “My father asked, ‘now what if I needed a kidney.’ And other people asked it to, but I said to myself, ‘now this brother loves the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, you don’t. This brother is out saving our people and you’re not. This brother is striving to live a healthy life, you smoke cigarettes, so damn right, I am giving him the kidney,’” Bro. Rafael said.

The surgery was a success and the recovery was smooth with no complications. The doctors told both men they had never seen the insides of anyone look so clean.

“Our surgery was on April Fool’s Day, but we showed them who the real fools are,” Bro. Rafael said laughing. “Min. Farrakhan came to Houston June 15, 2015 to promote the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March. Let’s just say Bro. Terrence and I were there holding post for him. That was about two and half months later. So, we have to acknowledge Allah in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad. He’s all up and through this.”

Both brothers agreed that this entire ordeal was bigger than just the two of them. That Allah intervened in their lives not only to unite them, but make them an example to the world of what true brotherhood looks like. “The fact that a Latino gave a Black man a kidney truly shows how we are one people,” Bro. Terrence explained. “We’re often separated by names, titles, religion and personalities, but we just strive to break down those barriers of how we’ve been programmed here in Western society to believe that our Latino sisters and brothers are different from us and that they’re not Original people.”

Bro. Terrence says till this day his family are all still mesmerized by what Bro. Rafael did. “My mother talks about him like he’s her son. All our families have grown closer. We changed the whole atmosphere in that hospital.”

Bro. Terrence and Bro. Rafael expressed how grateful they are for the support of their Student Coordinator over the San Antonio study group, Cedric Muhammad, and all the Believers, friends, and family from all over the region as well as their well-wishers for their donations made to GoFundMe and mostly all the prayers for their continued success. They just had their two-year checkup and both are eating well and staying healthy.