A Cut Above

By Patrick Cronin

Hampton Union, Friday, February 3, 2006

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Sherri Maguire, owner of Depot Clipper Barbershop in Hampton, will close up shop while she has surgery to donate a kidney to her brother.
[Photo by Jackie Ricciardi]

HAMPTON -- Sherri Maguire, owner of the Depot Barber Shop, says she knew one day she might be called on to donate a kidney to save her brother's life. That day has come.

Maguire found out Monday after months of tests that she is a match and that the surgery will occur on Feb. 21.

Her brother, who was born with a hereditary kidney disease, would require dialysis if he didn't get a transplant.To make the donation, Maguire said she will need to take four to six weeks off to recover and, as a result, will have to close her shop.

"When you're self employed and you don't work, you don't get paid," Maguire said. "But that doesn't matter. The only thing I'm concerned about is my brother and that he's going to be well."

This week she has been letting her customers know, jokingly saying "are you going to cheat on me while I'm away."

"I'm a little worried because people do find other places when you're closed for a period of time," Maguire said. "I will be back but this is something I really have to do and hopefully everyone will understand.

"I got mixed emotions from customers. I have received everything from 'wow this is so wonderful you're doing this,' to 'wow, I don't know if I like my brother that much.'"

Maguire took over the Depot Barbershop, now called the Depot Clipper, after the death of her father six years ago.

Her father, Leroy, who passed away from cancer, had run the shop for more than 40 years.

"After my father died, everyone accepted me with open arms," Maguire said. "I mean a lot of men never had their hair cut by a woman before. It was unbelievable. And now they are giving me so much support and wishing me well. It's really telling. They have been wonderful."

While she contemplated keeping the shop open and having someone work in her place, she decided against it.

"I thought I had to bite the bullet and close," said Maguire. "I can't be at home wondering if everything is okay."

Maguire said she first found out that her brother needed a kidney transplant six years ago.

"When my brother first found out, he really didn't say a whole lot to us," said Maguire. "We found out in bits an pieces."

While her brother had the disease since he was born the doctors always thought that he would grow out of it.

"When he was in his early 30's he started developing problems, and the doctors told him the disease was rearing its head again," Maguire said.

In the last year, he's had problems with his hearing, eyesight, and high blood pressure.

Then she got a phone call.

"He called me on the phone and told me that he needed a transplant and asked if I would be tested," said Maguire. "I said sure. I mean what would you say? He's my brother and I love him."

Her sister was also tested but tests results revealed while she didn't have the disease, she was a carrier for it.

"For some reason the gene skipped over me and that's why I'm the one who's donating," Maguire said. "I'm a bit nervous because the reality is starting to sink in."

She will go under the knife on Feb. 23.Maguire will be released from the hospital four days later but the recovery period will be four to six weeks.

"They tell me it's worse for the donor than the recipient," said Maguire. "I think it's because the recipient has felt so terrible for so long that once they get that kidney working it's like a whole new lease on life for them."

She will be staying with her mother for a few weeks but hopes to get back to work by the end of March.

"One of my customers told me that I'm going to have a big job when I come back because he's going to have pony tail because he's not going anywhere else," Maguire said.