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Wednesday, March 12, 2008 - Page updated at 10:34 AM

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Tacoma Starbucks barista donates kidney to customer

Annamarie Ausnes says her Starbucks' barista is a lifesaver.

She became friends with Sandi Andersen during regular stops at a Tacoma Starbucks for coffee.

When Ausnes told Andersen she needed a kidney transplant, Andersen found out she was a match. And in operations Tuesday at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Andersen donated a kidney to Ausnes.

Ausness is a 55-year-old who works at the University of Puget Sound. Andersen is 51 and has also done missionary work in Mexico and helped dig mud out of houses after Hurricane Katrina.

The women say they are now bonded together for life.

(with information from KOMO-TV, KING-TV, KIRO-TV, Tacoma News Tribune, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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