When Kevin Anderson found out his father needed a kidney transplant, he was more than happy to donate one of his own.
After testing revealed he wasn’t a match, Anderson was determined to find another way to give back to the man who had always taken care of him.
“It was a letdown” said Anderson, after finding out he and his father had different blood types. “You still really want to help in a big way.”
While brainstorming with a friend, Anderson decided to hold a kickball tournament and organize a raffle as a way to offset medical expenses related to his father’s surgery.
Kickin’ for a Kidney was held in November at Riverside Park in Evans and raised more than $4,000 for Anderson’s father, Paul Anderson, who said he feels “blessed” to have Kevin as a son.
“I’m really proud of Kevin,” Paul Anderson said. “He wanted to be the donor and once he found out there wasn’t any way that he could do it, he quickly switched gears into handling this fundraiser for me.”
Almost 1,000 raffle tickets have been sold, but Anderson is trying to sell the remaining 100 tickets at $10 a piece.
Five prizes, valued at $500 each, will be raffled off at noon Saturday, Dec. 22 at Warren Baptist Church’s The Edge building, 3203 Washington Road in Martinez. The prizes are a hot air balloon ride for two, an iPad 2, an Element 50-inch LCD TV, a Ruger American .308 rifle and a Richard Petty NASCAR driving experience.
Tickets can be purchased through Saturday at www.kidneyforacause.com.
In 2009, Anderson was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease called focal segmental glomeruloscleriosis, which caused rapid renal decline. His transplant surgery is scheduled for Jan. 11.
Despite fatigue, the 57-year old continued working at Georgia Iron Works. The company rewarded Anderson with a $7,000 check from employees and corporate staff on Thursday.
In October, Anderson was placed on the national waiting list for a kidney. Though both Kevin Anderson and his sister were ruled out as donors, another family member turned out to be a right match.
“We feel really blessed that we waited six months while the average wait time is three years to get a kidney,” Kevin Anderson said.
The surgery will cost $25,000 after insurance. Funds also will be given to Paul Anderson’s donor to supplement his time out of work, both father and son said.
“We’re at a point where we can see the finish line, and we’re excited,” Kevin Anderson said.
Kevin Anderson plans on turning the kickball fundraiser into an annual event to raise money for his father’s medication, which will cost at least $5,000 annually.
“It’s the biggest way of saying ‘I love you and thank you,’” he said.