Joe 238 Foundation Inaugural Golf Tournament
(Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course – Sacramento) – They are the “Foursome for Life” connected by more than their love of golf. The four men who will play in the Joe 238 Foundation Inaugural Golf Tournament at Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course (8301 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento, 95832) at 8:00 a.m., Friday, October 23, have all been touched by the gift of life through organ donation / transplantation. Two of the foursome have had transplants, kidney and cornea; another has a wife who was a living kidney donor; and the fourth says he is proud to stand with the other three, as he is the Ocular Director of Sierra Donor Services Eye Bank.
In the time it will take them to play 18 holes on Friday, 30 new names will go on the national waiting list for a transplant – and four more people will die waiting in that time. And so the “Foursome for Life” team is playing in the Joe 238 Golf Tournament in an effort to get the word out on the life-saving possibilities organ donation opens up for the 122,000 Americans awaiting a transplant.
“Organ, eye and tissue donors are unsung heroes,” says Jeremy Fristoe, who received a sight-saving cornea transplant three years ago and will play with the Foursome for Life. “I am so grateful to my donor who has allowed me to do things I couldn’t have even considered before, like getting my pilot’s license. I get choked up just thinking about it.”
Kidney recipient Geary McCoy echoes those thoughts. He says his organ transplant allowed him to go back to work in sales and marketing. “Before my kidney transplant, I would be absolutely exhausted by two o’clock in the afternoon… it was unbearable. But, life six years later is wonderful. I can play golf, travel, whatever — all limitations are gone.”
The man who started the Joe 238 Foundation earlier this year, Matt Flint, says he did so in memory of his best friend, Joe Chairez, a Sacramento Police Officer who died on duty and became an organ donor. Matt was spurred into creating the Joe 238 Foundation following an interview he reluctantly agreed to do for documentary film maker, Colleen Wood. Colleen’s daughter received a life-saving heart transplant as an infant. Now, 25 years later, Colleen is documenting the dramatic twists and turns of donation, and more specifically sharing Officer Joe Chairez’s journey – his badge number was 238.
“This story is from the donor family perspective, being told from a very grateful recipient mom — me. It took me two years to get Matt to agree to be interviewed about his best friend, Joe. The miracle was the healing that I saw happening with Matt – and that healing ultimately led to his forming the Joe 238 Foundation, to help spread awareness of the life-giving power of donation. This is another perfect example of the healing that can transpire through donation and transplantation. There’s also power behind sharing your story. That’s what Joe 283 Foundation and my documentary are both about – changing people’s hearts with a story.”
*About Sierra Donor Services
Sierra Donor Services (SDS) is a nonprofit agency dedicated to meeting the needs of the community by providing families the option of organ and tissue donation for transplantation and research. SDS serves Inland Northern California and Northern Nevada. As a division of the DCI Donor Services, Inc. family, SDS is one of four locations that includes: DCI Donor Services Tissue Bank, Tennessee Donor Services and New Mexico Donor Services. For more information, visit: sierradonor.org.