FAIR OAKS (CBS13) — Two men from two different worlds were brought together on the basketball court. Now one needs a kidney, and after 15 years of friendship, the other can’t say no.
“He was stunned, didn’t think I was serious,” said Doug Veale. “But I think he’s concluded that I am serious now.”
For 30 years, Doug Veale has been running the men’s basketball team at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church. Every Tuesday, he and his friend Martin Keitt typically meet for a game on the court. But this Tuesday, they’ll meet for something with much higher stakes.
“We’ve left this up to the Lord, actually and it’s in his hands,” Veale said.
Veale, 66, is giving Keitt, 26, a kidney. Keith's been on dialysis three times a week for nearly a year.
“It’s kind of grueling, you get sick sometimes, bad cramps, but it keeps you alive,” Keitt said.
“Nobody in there is happy,” Veale said.
Years ago, he told CBS13 he knew a man in need of a kidney. But soon after, the man died. So this time, Veale said death wasn’t an option.
“I told him immediately, 'what do I gotta do?'” Veale said.
After 10 months of testing, Veale just learned last month he’s a match.
“For him to do that, I can’t express how much it means,” Keitt said. “Doug, I love you!”
Doctors told Veale he’s in excellent health, which made him think maybe it’s all been leading up to this.
“I’ve often wondered, I figured there must be a reason!” he said.
With 12 grandchildren and four daughters of his own, Veale doesn’t want Keitt to miss out, especially with his 7-year-old daughter Arianna cheering him on. Now, the two friends look forward to their big day with little worry and a lot of faith.
“If it’s meant to be, it will be,” Veale said. “If it’s not, it’s not.”
“If the world had more Dougs, we’d be alright!” Keitt said.
The surgery is scheduled for this Tuesday, but the two plan to play one final game this Sunday afternoon.