The Day Before: Jorge Mariscal has dinner at the Tilted Kilt in Schaumburg with two friends from middle school.

It was 4:30 a.m. and no one said a word.

Jorge Mariscal, his mother and his aunt were on their way to Loyola University Medical Center. It was the moment they all had been anticipating for years and finally it had arrived.

Sonia Lopez was donating her kidney to her 24-year-old son. Mariscal had been on dialysis for seven years and his only obstacle in getting a new kidney was his legal status. After submitting letters to hospital boards, conducting marches and a hunger strike on June 3, Loyola agreed to cover the costs of the transplant.

Here is the story of the long-awaited Dec. 6 surgery.