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In The Face Of Affliction, There Is Hope

Thursday, April 12, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Brother Reaches Out To The Fraternity For A Kidney

By Bill Ryan
Indiana University, ‘69
Accounting Clerk

templeJames M. Adams, a brother, graduated from Belmont Abbey College in 1968 where he was a history major. He first started teaching history in middle school in Marlborough, Massachusetts in the late ‘60’s. He ended up in Gaston County, North Carolina which is the home of Belmont Abbey. There he taught in middle school for almost 40 years in total.

He met his wife, Linda, in 1986 while he taught in North Carolina and they were married in 1989.

Now, however, Jim needs your help. He has chronic kidney disease and his kidneys have been failing since 2013. Right now, he is on the transplant list at Wake Forest Medical Center because his kidneys are functioning at 30%. He’s planning to move to Wake Forest where he will be closer to his doctors.


templeJim is from Massachusetts and, upon graduating from BAC, he moved back about 25 miles west of Boston. He says "I was constantly pulling up maps for the students to satisfy their curiosity.” As he was due to get a Master’s Degree he figured, "why not – I’ll take Geography” which he did at Eastern Tennessee State University (ETSU). He completed the requirements of the Master’s Degree in 1980 and resumed teaching in Hudson, MA.

In 1983, he got a call from a fraternity brother in Gaston County, North Carolina inviting him to apply for a teaching position in one of the middle schools. He was accepted, and he moved back where he has spent the best part of his adulthood.

In 1986, while having his taxes done by H & R Block, he noticed a woman doing accounting and made some inquires. A blind date was soon arranged with Linda Melvin. Three years later they were married.

Over the years, he has taken an interest in ice hockey, baseball and certainly basketball. When he was younger, growing up near Boston, the Bruins, Red Sox and the Celtics were his favorite teams. He does a fair amount of reading of novels, history and general non-fiction.

templeHe took a cruise to Greece in 2009 with Linda, searching for lost relatives. Now you may say, how is that possible for a guy with the name "Jim Adams” to be Greek? His grandfather came on a ship from a port at Patras, Greece, in 1904 speaking only Greek.  His surname was Adamopoulos and he was from Amaliada, Greece about 180 miles west of Athens.

To simplify matters, the authorities on Ellis Island decided his name would be "Adams.” His grandmother came over from the same port in 1908 to Ellis Island. They married and settled in Hudson, Massachusetts. His father was born four years later in 1912.

templeRight now, Jim is taking it one day at a time. He still has a sense of humor. I asked him if "Jim” was his preferred moniker. He replied, "Jim is fine. On the other hand, when I do something careless or dissatisfactory, my wife will say ‘James!’”

He says Linda and he have been accepted into "Continuing Care Retirement Community” in Wake Forest which is very close to his transplant team of doctors.

There are two ways you can help. First, if you have blood type "O” (Jim’s blood type), you can help directly by contacting executiveoffices@phikaps.org.

Please keep in mind that there is no difference to your lifestyle. You can live just as comfortably with one kidney as two. The operation is done laparoscopically, so recovery is in two weeks. Jim says the whole procedure would be covered by his insurance.

Second, if you don’t have blood type "O” and you still want to help, there is a way for you to do so. Through the Kidney Paired Donation Pilot Program (KPDPP) you can be a match for a donor, even if you have never met the person. You must be at least 18 years of age and complete a medical and psychological exam before you can become a donor.

In the past, an incompatible pair had no alternative, and the potential recipient simply stayed on the deceased donor waitlist. Now, however, it is possible for even incompatible pairs to enjoy the many benefits of living donation.

Paired donation is an option that matches incompatible donor-recipient pairs with other pairs, and they "exchange” donors. I invite you to go to the site unos.org/donation/kidney-paired-donation/ to learn more about this remarkable program. Once you’re in that site, click on "Download PDF” (it’s in blue type) to see a pamphlet that will explain to you the details.

"It would mean so much to me for someone to step forward and help me out with a donated kidney. Getting back to living a normal, happy and healthy life with Linda is my top priority! I need some help dearly.”

– James Adams,
Belmont Abbey College, ‘68

As I was nearing the end of a telephone conversation last week, Jim said, "It would mean so much to me for someone to step forward and help me out with a donated kidney. Getting back to living a normal, happy and healthy life with Linda is my top priority! I need some help dearly.” We can always hope and pray that something good will happen.


Top Image: Jim and his wife, Linda.

2nd Image: Map of North Carolina.

3rd Image: Greece.

Bottom Image: At home with Jim.



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