A Chiefs fan and an Eagles fan will be attending the Super Bowl together Sunday for a unique reason.
When John Gladwell and Billy Welsh met during their service with the Marine Corps in North Carolina, they did not become fast friends, KMBC reported Saturday.
However, years later when Welsh put out a call for help online in finding a kidney, he was shocked to learn that Gladwell wanted to help and that he was a match.
Gladwell was thinking about Welsh and his son, who was two years old at the time, saying, “I wanted him to have dad going to Eagles games, Phillies games, Flyers, 76ers all of that.”
The kidney donation happened in 2020, and Gladwell recently told Today, “You never leave a brother behind. Marines are a band of brothers. We don’t leave someone behind.”
A living donation is when a person donates one of their organs, or a portion of one, to another individual, per the National Kidney Foundation.
“Living donation can also come from someone who doesn’t have an emotional relationship with the recipient, such as a friend of a friend, coworker, fellow member at their place of worship, neighbor or someone that hears through social media,” the foundation’s website reads.
One year ago, Gladwell contracted the coronavirus and found himself in the intensive care unit with stage four kidney failure, but he eventually recovered.
Thanks to a bond that is unlike any other, Gladwell said, “He’s family,” and Welsh commented, “He’s my hero.”
According to the Today report, the Eagle’s president contacted the Chiefs and planned to bring them to the upcoming Super Bowl on Sunday in Glendale, Arizona.
“A Chiefs kidney? I don’t know how my body will react if the Chiefs win. The Eagles are gonna win. Go birds!” Welsh jokingly said.