Golf tournament to benefit Ocala man needing kidney transplant
Megan Terrell feels like she’s planning a wedding.
While it’s actually a golf tournament to raise money and awareness for her husband’s needed kidney transplant, the effort to pull off the fundraiser has been all-encompassing.
“I feel like I should wear a wedding dress to it,” she joked recently.
The “A Kidney for Justin” golf scramble is scheduled for June 19 at the Country Club at Silver Springs Shores. Justin Terrell is the man Megan fell in love with 13 years ago. The couple married 10 years ago and have two little girls, Harper, 4, and Chloe, 1.
When he was 13, Justin Terrell’s life changed forever. Strep throat ravaged his body, causing kidney failure and forcing a transplant. Terrell got a kidney from his father, Patrick, after he proved to be a match.
That was 20 years ago on June 12, a date the family celebrated. But it was a bittersweet celebration; because Justin Terrell needs another transplant. This time there are no matches in his immediate family. His mother and two sisters all have “A” blood type. Justin needs “O,” the most common type.
Facing the possibility of dialysis three times a week, the Terrell family turned to the kindness of strangers. Terrell is a car guy, so the family began sharing their story at car shows to try to find a matching donor. But they needed something bigger that could bring together potential donors and act as a fundraiser for the medical bills related to the transplant.
A friend suggested a golf tournament, which sounded like a great idea—only the Terrell family had to figure out how to pull one off. In the end, they needed only to ask, and the community came running.
High school friends they haven’t talked to in years reached out. At least 10 people signed up with UF Health Shands Hospital to see if they were suitable donors. Businesses donated items for a silent auction. And after worrying they wouldn’t get the requisite 52 people signed up to put on the event, the Terrells are now making plans for overflow.
“We ended up with 101,” said Megan Terrell. “I know everybody says it, but (community support) has been really overwhelming… it’s just been like, ‘Oh my God. Wow. People really do care.’”
All proceeds from the event will go toward medical bills, but they also hope to find a donor.
The outpouring of support has spurred the family to do more for others.
“Me and my sister-in-law, we’ve actually decided that we’re going to start taking the family every year to help other people out,” Megan Terrell said.
For information about the tournament or to donate, visit https://www.facebook.com/AKidneyForJustinTerrell/