A good call: Cottage Grove man gives kidney to fellow umpire

Cottage Grove’s David Watkins (left) is receiving the gift of a new kidney from fellow umpire Nate Gabrelcik. (Bulletin photo by Blaze Fugina)
Umpiring has been an escape for Cottage Grove's David Watkins.

Watkins has been battling kidney failure for the past decade, the result of a disease which cost him his career in Florida working on helicopters with the U.S. Department of Defense. While he no longer can work, Watkins has stayed active by umpiring softball games for the Cottage Grove Athletic Association and other tournaments in the region.

"I called ball in Florida, but I really started calling it a lot harder to keep myself busy and to stay in shape," said Watkins, who moved from Florida to Minnesota after meeting his wife, Cheryl Watkins. Continue reading
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