Robert Chen is a changed man.
In his younger days, when he ran a nightclub, he said he drank heavily, went to lots of parties, and, as a self-described "Mr. Cheeseburger," his diet was far from healthy.
Then came high blood pressure, kidney disease and eventually four years of dialysis treatments.
In 1998, Chen was approved for a kidney transplant and everything began to change for him. He left the nightclub business and works as an insurance agent in Walnut. He said he now prefers vegetables over greasier fare and has dropped 20 pounds from his frame.
"It's like I'm born again," he said. "The kidney made me a new man."
But it's not just the new kidney that's made a difference in his life, Chen said. His personal reformation has been inspired by the tenets of Tzu Chi, an international Buddhist humanitarian aid organization.
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