Letters to the Editor

FHHS's Greg Sawyer says 'Thanks' for the support | Letters

Friday Harbor High School
Friday Harbor High School's Greg Sawyer underwent a successful kidney transplant Monday in Seattle.
— image credit: Contributed photo

I have lived in a variety of places and they all have unique qualities but Friday Harbor is filled with more generous and caring people than any other place.

I was diagnosed with a kidney condition ten years ago and was informed that I would need a kidney transplant two years ago. Since that time, people in this community have been incredibly supportive with best wishes, prayers, good vibes, and financial donations.

There are so many people to thank it is difficult to name them all. But I would be remiss if I did not recognize a few of them.

First of all I would like to thank Gordy Waite and his family.

Gordy has been a great help, as we share a similar condition. Gordy’s daughter Hannah, with the help of two fellow students, organized a fundraiser and promoted the idea of organ donation. The amount of money raised was staggering — $19,700.00 — and I was overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of the people here.

Once again I cannot thank you enough.

The wait for a viable donor took some time, but now I am lucky enough to have a good friend that is a match. The transplant will take place on May 9 at Swedish Hospital in Seattle.

Two other people volunteered to be donors and they deserve special thanks. The first volunteer was Mark Vermeire, and then Susan Mazzarella was tested next.

Testing is a rigorous process and time consuming. Both came close but in the final analysis it was not a safe idea for either of them to donate. I am very grateful to them and their families.

The third person to step up was Jenny Nesbitt.

She turned out to be the best and safest match. There are no words that can convey my gratitude to Jenny. She is a generous and genuine person. Jenny is definitely the hero in this story.

The money that was donated will help in covering Jenny’s expenses incurred such as places to stay in Seattle and lost wages. Once again the generosity of the community is a tremendous help.

There are so many people to thank — from the person in the grocery store wishing me luck, to the students and staff of Friday Harbor High School, to the parents of my students — all of these people have been tremendously supportive.

Friday Harbor is a community with its share of political controversy and its share of tragedy but the heart and soul of this community is one of generosity and compassion. I am eternally grateful to all for your positive thoughts and support.

Sincerely,Greg Sawyer

 

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