John Rodriguez

John Rodriguez

Submitted photo

I recently celebrated my 30-year high school reunion. Friends proudly talked about their children, grandchildren and careers. There were some classmates who were no longer with us and some just couldn’t make it. One person not present was Greg Hyde. I recently received an email from his sister:

My name is Lisa and I am Greg Hyde’s sister. Greg has been diabetic for 30 years and during the last 10 years he has endured many difficult health issues due to diabetes. Over two years ago he went into kidney failure, and was put on dialysis three days a week for four hours each visit. He was a candidate for the organ transplant list. We waited and prayed and he always held fast to the fact that one day he would be called. He did get a call a month ago, and was so close to getting the organs then, but the pancreas was injured on removal from that donor, so he went back home and waited, patiently. Well the day finally arrived on Nov. 16; he was the recipient of a dual organ transplant, a kidney and a pancreas. While we were ecstatic about this opportunity, we also were extremely sympathetic to the donor’s family, what a terrible loss they had suffered with the death of their loved one, but what a wonderful gift the donor gave to others, not just to Greg, but other organs were also given to others in need. What a blessing to so many.

After a week at home, Greg’s blood work showed signs that his body was trying to reject the organs. So he has been back in the hospital, on heavy doses of anti-rejection medications, steroids, antibiotics, and undergone a few very amazing procedures to try and reverse the rejection. He has a long road ahead of him, and his bills are mounting. Along with regular monthly bills, he is now taking on the costs for multiple hospital stays, physician bills, monthly (and mandatory) anti-rejection medications (which he will need for the rest of his life, and are quite costly), and Medicare insurance.

He is not able to currently work, and has another four to six weeks before he can return, and the stress of knowing that he has financial commitments that need immediate attention is weighing heavily on his mind. He may be in for still at least another week in the hospital, and weeks at home just resting and trying to heal. They are taking great care of him in the hospital but all he can think of is not being able to work, and having payments due before he can even get back to receiving his paycheck. He is trying to stay strong, the setbacks are very discouraging for him and for his family, but we trust God and his doctors, and we lean on you all for prayer and support and strength. It is a humbling thing to ask for help, and I am putting this out there in the hope that if people have just a little something extra they could help. You can donate any amount of money to Bank of America Account No. 4570-0297-1023 for Gregory Hyde. Thank you, Lisa Sandifer.

Greg’s sister shows her love for her brother, and for that he is blessed. As young boys, some of us are taught to be tough and not to cry. As a result, men are less likely to ask for help in tough times. I am pleased Greg’s sister encouraged him to share a part of his life with me and others. His story should encourage other men that it’s OK to ask for help when it seems like you’re carrying the world on your shoulders. It’s moments like this that those who have been blessed rise to the occasion to help those in need, how?

Bring a copy of this guest commentary to the Ahwatukee Native New Yorker, 5030 E. Ray Road, Suite 5, at 50th Street, from 11 to 2 a.m. this Friday, Jan. 4, and part of your food and beverage purchase will be donated to Greg and his family. This local business reflects the generosity the franchise owner and general manager have shown to this family in their time of need. It’s refreshing to know that in tough times Americans come together, as one, for a good cause. Hope to see you at Native New Yorker on Friday.

• John D. Rodriguez of Ahwatukee Foothills is a community organizer and a sports agent. Reach him at (602) 526-7512 or

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