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Tom Callen

Photo by Corey Hengen

Photo by Corey Hengen

Tom Callen, co-owner of Callen Construction Inc., Muskego, looked death in the face and survived.

Callen was diagnosed with an incurable kidney disease seven years ago, at which point he was told he would someday face dialysis and possibly a kidney transplant. But he did not let the improbability of finding a donor defeat him. He kept living his life and hoped that one day a suitable match would be found.

Four years after his diagnosis, doctors told him he needed to get on a transplant list. Testing started on a number of relatives and friends who volunteered to be living donors and, luckily, a match was found. A successful transplant took place on Oct. 22, 2008.

Callen is now back to work full time, helping lead his family-owned company as it embarks on its 24th year in business.

In the midst of his busy schedule, he took the time to answer this month’s Burning Questions.

What word in the English language do you wish you had invented?

Computer. Had I invented it, I would understand it and use it more effectively personally and in our business, i.e., social media, marketing software, design software, etc.

What is your most treasured possession?

My donated kidney. The donor was a longtime, very good friend. I am feeling much better, am back to work full time and continue regular check-ups with the hospital.

What is your most treasured possession?

A healthy life

What is your favorite Web site and why?

www.marquettehoops.com because I am a big college sports fan. Having grown up in Milwaukee, I have been a big fan of MU basketball since childhood.

Who are your heroes?

Organ donors

What is the first concert you went to?

The Beach Boys

What is the best part about winter in Wisconsin?

The beauty of freshly fallen snow

What is worst part about winter in Wisconsin?

Below-zero temperatures

What is your greatest extravagance?

Golfing at Whistling Straits

Who are your favorite writers?

James Patterson and Dennis Lehane

What do you miss most about your childhood?

Family gatherings

What trait do you like in others?

Honesty and sincerity

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