“Handyman Of The Year” Veteran Donates Kidney To Longtime Friend In Need

“What I would like for everybody to understand is, we can help each other in ways that are immense, you know.”

Veteran Dan Reynolds is giving a Zoom interview to FOX 5 news. He lays in a hospital bed, his smiling, white-bearded face beaming. “I know, we’d all have better lives if we just got along with each other,” he adds.

He’s not just talk. Reynolds has just recovered from an operation — the Maryland-area handyman donated a kidney to longtime friend, 75-year-old Tony Antonelli.

Photo: YouTube/CBS Evening News

The 62-year-old veteran, who lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland, had been helping with chores when he learned that his friend Tony was going to need to start dialysis for recurring kidney issues. The first question he asked, according to Fox5DC was, “what blood type are you?”

When he learned that they had the same blood type, he added that he would be “honored” to donate a kidney.

Photo: Unsplash/Natanael Melchor
Photo: YouTube/CBS Evening News

Reynolds is a humble man shaped by his two decades of service as an Army veteran, as well as the challenges such as divorce and homelessness that he has faced since then. It’s given him an appreciation for the important bonds in life, and a drive to help those that he can.

For Tony Antonelli, it wasn’t just a gift for one person. The whole Antonelli family was touched that Reynolds was willing to make such a sacrifice.

PHOTO: GOFUNDME / MICHAEL ANTONELLI

They’ve created a GoFundMe for his expenses as well as to cover the lost wages while he’s recovered. It’s raised over $25,000, blowing past its original goal of $15k and showing that the internet knows how to reward selflessness.

In the GoFundMe description, the Antonelli family describes Dan as “Tony’s true guardian angel on Earth.”

Photo: YouTube/CBS Evening News

Both Dan and Tony made full recoveries from the surgery, and Tony has been given a new lease on life thanks to his new kidney. Dan’s kind act has resonated with thousands of people across the world and left a truly thankful family and uplifted community in its wake. That’s why, when Dan says we can help each other in immense ways, I’m inclined to believe him.

He leads by example, even when it means a big sacrifice. If you would like to help with Dan’s medical expenses, you can learn more here.

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