Iowa City Press Citizen | Emily Schettler
Jory Helms knows he has a lot to be thankful for this year as he celebrates the holidays with family and friends.
For the first time in four years, Helms visited his mom in Chicago for Christmas without having to call ahead to schedule dialysis appointments at a hospital there. He can eat dinner with his family without worrying about his phosphorus levels or his fluid intake.
More than anything, Helms, a 30-year-old former Hawkeye defensive lineman from Chicago, says he’s thankful to be healthy.
And he’s thankful for Phillip Sade, a complete stranger who more than a year ago reached out to Helms and offered to donate a healthy kidney.
“He just gave me a kidney, and all he asked for was friendship. It blows people’s minds. It blows my mind,” Helms said. “Between my friends and family, (the doctors and nurses at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics) and Phillip, there were a lot of people who had a hand in this thing.”