Ex-Dogs’ return to UGA a lift for kidney transplant recipient

Gerrit Day knows his Georgia football history — especially the recent stuff — backward and forward.

 

On Friday, he got to see it in person during a guided tour of the Butts-Mehre building and indoor practice facility.

Then, Gerrit, a 16-year-old from Powder Springs who’ll receive his second kidney transplant later this year, got to play cornhole with some of the guys who made that history happen.

“There’s no words to explain what today was like,” Gerrit said. “Having Georgia do this for me is amazing, that they think about doing this for people who don’t necessarily get to experience this every day.”

The experience was created by former Georgia linemen Jon and Matt Stinchcomb and quarterback David Greene, who will host the Dawgs For Kids event for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Georgia Transplant Foundation in August.

“When you raise money, you know it goes to a good cause,” Jon Stinchcomb said. “When you get to interact with real patients, it ties it all together.”

Gerrit was diagnosed with posterior urethral valve obstruction and had laparoscopic surgery in utero. He had his first kidney transplant at 2 years old. His father, Royce III, will donate a kidney later this year.

“For me just watching Gerrit, he has so much adversity he deals with just on a daily basis. For him to have this experience … he is such an avid sports fan — for him to get to do this and have a bright spot is just so encouraging for me,” Royce said.

The morning started with an hourlong tour that included a bit of banter among the Stinchcombs and Greene.

Gerrit, his two brothers and Royce took in the trophy area, weight room and meeting rooms, and the grab-and-go dining area in the new facility.

Then it was time to play. They started with Kan Jam, and Gerrit’s brother slipped a frisbee through the cutout barrel on his first try before shifting to cornhole.

Kirby Smart dropped in for a surprise appearance and ended up sticking around to take on Gerrit and Matt in a game of cornhole.

“I might have to bring Jon in to take this L,” Smart joked. Smart and Royce ended up winning.

They wrapped up the morning with a tour of the locker room and a few minutes of arcade games in the lounge.

“Anytime you can be able to provide a good experience, and having played here and been fortunate enough to have the chance to come back and do as little as give tours, and they get to spend time with coach today and little things like that, it’s so much fun,” Greene said.

 

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