PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) - "Did'ja have any problem finding the place?" the tall gentleman asked as he approached from his carport in Brusly. "No, your directions were perfect," I replied, admiring his United States Marines baseball cap he was wearing.
I was invited to the home of Dwayne and Judy Persinger to meet Andrew Corbett and his family. Dwayne had nominated Andrew for WAFB's Hand It On person of the week and the entire family was spending the afternoon at the Persinger's (mom, dad, Andrew and his two sisters).
Ten year old Andrew Corbett has had health challenges his entire live. You'd never know it to look at him but Andrew has been on dialysis three days a week for the past five years, literally half his young life.
Well, one day Andrew's mother, Alicia, posted on their church Facebook page that their car had broken down and she had no way to transport Andrew to dialysis the next morning.
The Persingers, retired, came to the rescue.
When Dwayne and Judy arrived at 6:00 the next morning, Andrew came bouncing out to their car carrying a small bag.
"Oh, you must be bringing your toy dinosaurs with you to play with while you're at dialysis today, huh?" Judy inquired.
Andrew very quietly said, "No, I brought money out of my piggy bank to give to the Children's Charities at dialysis."
That was all it took to bring that Marine and his wife to tears. Here was this 10-year-old child, with permanent ports implanted beneath his skin, facing needles three times a week, concerned about what? Himself? No! Concerned about making sure someone else had a gift. Wow.
Every one of us is battling something in our lives. Some would say our trials and hardships build character. What a lesson in true character from an unsuspecting teacher, a 10-year-old boy trying to get on the transplant list.
And by the way, Mr. Dwayne . . . you taught me something too. There is no such thing as an EX-Marine! Semper Fi my friend; Semper Fi.
Find out more about organ donation. Discuss it with your family and determine if organ donation is something you would like to sign up for. I did! It could save a precious life, like a 10-year-old fourth grader at Cohn Elementary in Port Allen.
All the information you need in order to make an informed decision is available on the United Network for Organ Sharing website at www.UNOS.ORG.
And to nominate someone for WAFB's Hand It On program, send an e-mail to HandItOn@WAFB.com. Make sure to include your contact information including phone number.