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Danny was born with no ears. He could hear all right, but he didn’t have ears like normal people. All his life, Danny endured ridicule and rejection because of his deformity. But he learned to live with it. Thankfully, he had loving parents and a strong family to sustain him.

When Danny was in high school, his doctor told him of a new procedure that made it possible to transplant ears from one person to another. That meant Danny could get new ears if someone who was compatible to him ever donated theirs.

This was exciting news. After all, people donated body parts all the time—hearts, lungs, kidneys. But Danny soon found that donor ears were extremely scarce.

Danny didn’t give up hope, however. He knew that someday he would get new ears. He graduated from high school with honors and was accepted at a major university thousands of miles away. He kissed his parents good-bye and began his life as a college student. Again, though, he found it hard to make friends and fit in because of his lack of ears.

One day he got a phone call from his father. “Go to the hospital tomorrow, Danny. A donor has been found.”

The very next day Danny checked into the university hospital where doctors were ready to perform the surgery. A few hours later, Danny had new ears.

When the bandages came off, Danny gazed into the mirror for hours. He finally had ears like normal people. For the first time in his life, he wasn’t ashamed of the way he looked. He not only had new ears, he had a new life.

A few weeks later, Danny received another phone call from his father. “Son, your mother is very ill,” his father said. “She may not live through the night.”

Danny was on the first plane home. When he arrived, his father gave him the sad news that his mother had died.

Together they went to the funeral home, where Danny was able to see his mother for the last time. He leaned over to kiss her cheek. Brushing her hair back from her face, he noticed that she had no ears.

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