Kenny Krom and Debbie Connors never met, yet fate brought them together in the most profound way.
A little over a year ago, 19 year old Kenny Krom, a graduate of Mt. Everett High School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, was killed in a one-car crash. He would have started college last fall to pursue a nursing degree. Kenny was a basketball player, well known and well loved, and the community mourned his loss.
But there was a silver lining in this tragedy – Kenny Krom was an organ donor.
Debbie Connors, age 50, from Palmer Massachusetts, had spent the last three years on the organ donor waiting list to receive a new kidney. She suffered from polycystic kidney disease which had taken her father, three aunts and two cousins.
For those same three years, Debbie had been surviving on three-day-a-week dialysis, but she was weakening – she desperately needed a new kidney. And then, on Good Friday , 2017, Kenny gave Debbie one of his.
Others benefited as well- 15 people’s lives have been saved or enhanced by Kenny’s gifts so far. Over 67 remaining units of Kenny’s bone marrow can help many more over the next few years.
But the goodness didn’t stop there. Kenny’s mother Sue Krom started a scholarship in his memory, and this past Saturday, an alumni basketball game was held at Mt Everett to help raise money for it- $5 a head at the door.
There were hot dogs and baked goods and T shirts for sale. Proceeds from those went to the school’s booster club to help the sports programs. And the non-profit Donate Life offered information about becoming an organ donor.
What a rich tally of benefit from Kenny’s life- 15 lives saved or enhanced with more to come and three non-profits supported. I trust we’ll be seeing future sports-related fundraisers bearing Kenny’s name in sportingAcause.
Oh, and sitting in the front row watching the game with Kenny’s mom and grandmother was a healthy, smiling Debbie Connors.