From Press Release:
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City RedHawks and INTEGRIS Health are teaming up for the “Home Run for Life” promotion beginning Friday, May 13, recognizing people in the Oklahoma City community who, with the help of their families, physicians and health care professionals, have overcome a significant medical event in their life. Selected Home Run for Life participants will get to take a home run “lap” around the bases between innings, symbolizing the end of a battle against adversity.
“It’s humbling for us to work with INTEGRIS Health in recognizing people in our communities who have had to endure so much adversity in their lives,” RedHawks president/general manager Michael Byrnes said. “This promotion helps people see the hardships that some people overcome to live a normal life.”
The first Home Run for Life promotion celebrates couple Susan and Ross Cates and siblings Tresa Hargrove and Johnny Kitchen after a computer program matched the four together. Susan Cates’ kidneys were failing because of a 30 year battle with diabetes. After doctors told her she would need a kidney transplant, Susan’s husband, Ross, immediately offered to donate a kidney to her, but he was not a match.
Tresa Hargrove had a rare kidney disease and underwent her first transplant in 1995. Several years later, the medication that she was taking began to damage her new kidney. Tresa also had a family member jump in to try to save her life, but her brother Johnny’s kidney was not a match. The two families had seemingly impossible obstacles until a computer program matched them. Ross was not a match for his wife, but he was compatible with Tresa. Johnny was not a match with his sister, but was compatible with Susan. Personnel from INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center’s Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute spoke to each pair individually about the possibility of a paired kidney donation. One donor agrees to give his/her kidney to the other donor’s loved one if the second donor does the same in return. Since the donation is anonymous, both families agreed to save a stranger’s life.
The paired donations took place on Oct. 6, 2008. Two days after the surgeries, the group met for the very first time. Their initial meeting was in private, but since that time they have been telling their story to friends, co-workers and those facing similar medical challenges. Because of the generosity of those who were once strangers, Susan and Tresa found a new lease on life.
Come see them in person and cheer them on as they run the bases during the first Home Run for Life event in Oklahoma City, Friday, May 13. The game begins at 7:05 p.m.
Tickets for Friday’s game and the remaining games in the current homestand are available through the RedHawks ticket office at (405) 218-1000 or by visiting okcredhawks.com.