To make it in any professional sport takes skill, dedication, and practice. Having someone who believes in you and goes out of their way to help can be the difference between living the fantasy or hanging up your skates.
Throughout the many years that Graham Nesbitt handled the neighborhood skating arena in Seaforth, Ontario, he went above and beyond the call of duty—opening the rink early, staying late, and even in the face of snowstorms—to guarantee neighborhood kids could get in as many hours on the ice as possible.
No-one is more aware of or as grateful for Nesbitt’s dedication than Bonnie O’Reilly. Both sons, Ryan and Cal, who skated under Nesbitt’s watchful eye, both went on to play in the NHL.
Ryan captains the Stanley Cup-winning St. Louis Blues. Cal is currently on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms’ roster.
Even though he retired from the Seaforth rink in 2003, once the community learned Nesbitt needed a kidney donation, neighborhood folks lined up to be analyzed to see if they might be a match. One of these people was Bonnie O’Reilly.
Nesbitt was diagnosed with Berger’s disease nine years back. A progressive condition that lessens the kidneys’ ability to filter blood, by 2019 the medicine keeping his disease under check was no longer functioning. A kidney transplant became the 65-year-old’s only alternative for survival.
After OReilly learned she was a game, the only thing left to be done was to arrange for the operation. “She says that ‘ What you’ve done for my boys, helping them reach their goal of playing professional hockey, it’s the least we could do,’” Nesbitt’s son Joe said therefore ’Reilly in a conversation with CBC.
The transplant took place just a couple of weeks ago, on March 3. Both O’Reilly and Nesbitt came through the procedure in good shape and were soon on their way to healing.
Nesbitt’s wife, Pam, deeply touched by O’Reilly’s generosity, posted her thanks on Facebook: “From our family to you and yours Bonnie, thanks to the gift of a life …Your selfless act means more than you’ll ever know. ”
Something my fathers always taught me is to be kind and helpful and generous to everyone, Joe Nesbitt told CBC. “It just goes to show that those considerate acts and caring for people, it pays off. It truly paid off for my dad and saved his life. ”
So, why is good Karma like an ice rink, you ask? Since what goes around comes around.
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