Community support helps Berrien Co. man recover from kidney transplant
NASHVILLE, GA (WALB) -
Anytime Fitness in Nashville continues to sell calendars that feature photos of some of it's members. The calendars were put together to help Bobby Jewell pay for his kidney transplant, which he had in June.
The kidney was donated from a 3rd grade teacher at Berrien County Elementary School. "It's just helped me out so much. I can never repay this community, this county, for what they've done for me," Jewell expressed.
The single father of three found out one of his kidneys was failing when he applied for a job in 2010.
"I was raisin' three children on my own. Went to apply for the sheriff's department and through a physical I found out that I had kidney failure," said Jewell. Jewell's failing kidney forced him to have to eventually give up coaching youth sports teams in Berrien County, something he hopes to resume soon now that he has a new kidney.
"That's my life," said Jewell. "I feel like that's always been a calling for me, to work with children. That's what I wanted to do before I got sick."
Joshua Jones, one of the members who appears in the calendar, said he wanted to give back to his community. "Just to do my part to help a local in need," said Jones. Kyle Osterman, who also appears in the calendar, said he was honored to have an opportunity to help. "It's a humbling experience to know that you can just do somethin' so little to help somebody out that goes through so much," stated Osterman.
As of August 19th, the "Journey for a Jewell" fund set up on Facebook has collected about $2,500 for Jewell. You can visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/bobbyjewelltransplantfund. To purchase a calendar, contact Anytime Fitness in Nashville at 229-686-1888 or visit them at 105 E. Washington Avenue.
Jewell is hoping to be back on the parks and rec fields in Berrien County coaching kids again in a couple of months after his final few surgeries. He's also planning to finish his degree and become a teacher. He said none of that would be possible though without the kidney transplant and the support the community has shown him since.