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A smiling Dad, surrounded by a woman and four teenaged children
Green silhouette of kidneys

Greg Tyree

It was during a routine physical for a life insurance policy that Greg learned he was in kidney failure. Now, he's hoping to find a kidney donor to save his life.

The best years of Greg’s life have been centered around being a dad. This father of four lives for Sunday family dinners and has earned the nickname “Kodak” because of all the pictures he takes, trying to capture every memory he can of his family. An avid sports fanatic and outdoorsman, Greg has passed on to his children his love of sports and coached all of them in soccer, basketball, and baseball. But these days, Greg's health won't allow him to be the dad he wants to be. Hopefully, soon, a generous kidney donor will change that.

Greg’s transplant journey was a surprise to him. In 2007, he underwent a life insurance physical. He knew he had a family history of high blood pressure but was shocked to learn that he was suffering Stage 3 kidney failure. He began taking anti-hypertensive medications and had routine medical check-ups, and for almost 15 years, that was enough to keep his health stable. In 2022, COVID changed things. After being stricken with COVID twice that year, Greg’s kidney function sharply declined. He was immediately hospitalized and began dialysis.

After being mostly healthy and active for so many years, Greg had a massive adjustment to being chronically ill. Dialysis keeps him going, but it’s a draining experience. He continues to work full-time around his dialysis schedule, but he doesn’t have energy left for much else in his life. Not too long ago, Greg was coaching his kids’ sports. Now, he’s so sick that he’s had to miss many of their sporting events. He is too fatigued to mow his lawn or help with household chores. He’s also had multiple frightening episodes of significant hypotension that have caused him to pass out and require immediate medical attention.

Since July 2023, Greg has been on the transplant waiting list. The wait is not easy. Every time the phone rings, Greg wonders if this might be “the call.” His once full life has shrunk down to three basic activities: dialysis, medications, and sleeping. It’s not what he had hoped for at this time in his children’s lives. He shares, “This is the time I looked forward to helping with college plans and watching my children turn into young adults. I am missing out on so much.” He has hope, though, that soon a donor will give him the gift of life that will allow him to be a more active part of his family again, including his parents who still live in Montana.

Greg shares his story knowing that maybe someone who reads it will be compelled to make the choice to register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor. He encourages readers, “Being a donor is a level of giving and selflessness that cannot be put into words – to give someone their life back and the opportunity to see their grandchildren, go camping, travel. You should feel excited and hopeful that your donation is going to be life-changing for someone, even if it’s a total stranger.”

Even while Greg’s present is challenging, Greg is looking forward to the future. He looks forward to spending time with his family, but he also wants to help others and someday be a mentor. He has a lot to offer to others who are going through the same thing he has gone through. He says, “Hope is easily lost during these dark times, but I would love to provide some brightness to someone’s day.”