Durham kidney donor to run double marathon

Mar 12, 2014 7:55 PM

Jerry Hoyt is a maintenance worker for the Chico Unified School District and an avid runner. Jerry decided about three years ago to start running to work, and has kept up the 4.5 mile jaunt from his Durham home ever since.

"I just enjoy it. You see things you don't notice when you're in your car," he says.

In 2011, Jerry heard a story on the radio about a coach donating a kidney to one of his athletes. That struck a chord with him, inspiring Jerry to become a donor himself.

"That just blew me away. So as I processed that over the next week, I thought, there's no reason why I couldn't do something like that," says Hoyt.

The National Kidney Registry found Jerry a match, and in January his chance to donate became a reality. The man he gave his kidney to lives in South Carolina and had to be on dialysis three times a week for a year and a half. Jerry says his new friend Adrian is looking forward to going back to work so he can continue to provide for his family. The two men now share a special bond and check in with one another from time to time.

"He was very, very thankful. Someone suggested he name his new kidney before we even talked. So, his new kidney is Julio. Every now and then he calls me and tells me how Julio is doing," says Hoyt.

Jerry says he's averaged about 1,200 miles a year on his runs to and from work. So it's no surprise that he plans to run a double marathon this summer for the National Kidney Foundation. Jerry's story caught the attention of Dan Richardson, owner of Dutch Bros. coffee in Chico. On Thursday, they'll be donating a portion of their proceeds to the National Kidney Foundation.

"Every now and then we'll hear a story like this one that just absolutely takes your breath away. This is a great cause. We are thrilled to be a part of it," says Richardson.

Richardson has known Jerry for 5 years, and often sees him picking up trash along his runs.

"He's just one of those guys that's always giving to others. I know he spends vacations helping out in orphanages in Central America, and he's just an all around great guy," he says.

Jerry has to raise at least $1,000 before his run in July. All of the Dutch Bros. locations in Chico will be selling 16 oz. drinks for just a dollar Thursday, and will donate the money to the National Kidney Foundation on Jerry's behalf.


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