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Before dawn on her 57th birthday, Lorraine Hawks and her husband, Paul, piled into their brother-in-law Tim Wilson's Lexus in Pelham, New Hampshire, with Lorraine and her sister Susie in the back seat and the men up front. As the two couples drove to the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, Lorraine and Paul teased Tim mercilessly.

"By 5 o'clock today, you're going to have a Republican liver!" they taunted Tim. "You're going to love Ann Coulter! You're going to love Glenn Beck!"

"No way!" protested Tim, a staunch Democrat. He swore that even with a chunk of his Republican brother-in-law's liver inside him, he'd never be conservative. The foursome joked and laughed during the 45-minute drive to Lahey. At the hospital, the sisters kissed their husbands goodbye, and the men were wheeled into operating rooms, where surgeons would remove 60 percent of Paul's liver and give it to Tim, who suffered from advanced liver disease.

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