This Father’s Day, I’m celebrating life’s second chances. Others can help, too

By Everett German

This Father’s Day, I find myself reflecting on the incredible journey that has brought me to where I am today. My name is Everett German, and I am blessed to be a father to my beautiful daughter and son. I also am a husband, friend and grateful kidney recipient. This is my story.

I consider myself to be someone who has always lived life with passion. Whether it be broadcasting sporting events in the Lowcountry, spending time with family and friends, giving speeches about organ donation or giving back to the community I love, I have embraced every moment I have been given in this life.

However, one evening 19 years ago, my life took an unexpected turn, changing it forever. What started with blurry vision and an eye doctor appointment ultimately led to a Stage 4 kidney disease diagnosis.

Being in my 30s at the time, I never expected to be in desperate need of a kidney transplant.

Faced with the harsh realities of the kidney transplant waiting list, I began sharing my story with anyone willing to listen, hoping to inspire others to get tested, even if the odds were slim to none that they would be a match for me.

Miraculously, my story created a ripple effect, inspiring multiple altruistic donations. Both of my sisters, eager to help, were tested and confirmed as perfect matches. On June 8, 2011, six months after having a baby, my youngest sister provided me with my life-saving transplant.

As I prepare to celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, I am reminded of the profound love I have for my sister who saved my life, my family and the incredible strength it takes to overcome life’s unexpected challenges. My gratitude and passion continue to inspire those around me, proving that one person’s story can truly change lives.

I also think of Michael Sprauve from the Pee Dee area, who is waiting on a kidney transplant. Michael, a devoted father to his young son, holds on to the hope of receiving a new kidney, allowing him to celebrate many more Father’s Days with his son. His story is a powerful reminder of the many people still in need of this precious gift.

This Father’s Day, I honor the gift of life that was given to me, and the opportunity to continue being a loving and dedicated dad to my kids. I encourage everyone to consider registering as an organ donor.

Your decision could not only transform someone’s life but also allow fathers like Michael and me a chance to share countless more cherished moments with our children. To learn more about donation, or to become a registered donor, visit We Are Sharing Hope SC.

Everett German is the voice of the College of Charleston men’s basketball team and an Effectv account executive.

Read the story here.