Matching shirts with “Kidney Buddies For Life” bring life-changing news to a stranger

Receiving surprise gifts is always a good feeling, but when they are life-changing, it’s even better. That’s exactly what happened to Leon Hammond, an athletic director in Georgia.

He was called to the McIntosh High School library for what he thought was a celebration of his recent award as AAAAA Region 3 Director of the Year. However, the gift he received was far greater than he could have ever imagined.

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During the meeting, Aaron Reeves, a former Peachtree City policeman, current U.S. Secret Service agent, and school resource officer at McIntosh High School, approached Leon and handed him a note. The note explained how Aaron, who had never met Leon before, was a match for the kidney transplant that Leon desperately needed

. Fox 5 Atlanta reported that Aaron’s wife had read about Leon’s need for a new kidney, which prompted him to get tested.

Out of 10 possible candidates, it was determined that Aaron was the perfect match. The timing was perfect too, as Leon had planned to make car magnets that read “I need a kidney donation.”

@reneepizarreeves Please share, like, and comment this so we can get the word out for living donors! #kidney #kidneydonor #hospital #surgery #kidneydonation #candycrush10 #livingdonor #mcintoshhighschool #surprise #crying ♬ Cumbia Buena – Grupo La Cumbia

Instead, he and Aaron now have matching t-shirts that say “Kidney Buddies For Life!” The long-awaited transplant finally happened in February 2023, and everyone involved pulled through nicely. As Leon put it, “I have a new friend now.”