NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — In the fall of 2012, John Quinerly celebrated a football state championship with Lake Taylor High School. The very next summer, the assistant coach found out he needed a new kidney.
“I’m going through stage five kidney disease,” said Quinerly. “My kidneys will never return to their normal function.”
Quinerly lost 50 pounds over the summer, during which he couldn’t eat or drink for nearly a week. He’s now on dialysis treatment three days a week, but he still teaches at Lake Taylor, still takes his two children to school, and still watches them play sports.
Quinerly is on a 2 to 3 year waiting list for a new kidney, but one of the first to reach out and offer his own was a star player for the Titans … his son.
“Me and him are like best friends,” said Nhyre Quinerly, a junior on the team who’s expected to play major college football. “When he tells you ‘no,’ or he tells you ‘I’ll be okay,’ I’m like, ‘No dad. I really want to help you.”
Though Nhyre is too young to donate, he still helps his father by sometimes driving him to and from treatments, all the while playing football, baseball, and keeping up with his classwork. John’s fight, though, has taken a mental toll on his family.
“It’s just hard to see him hurt,” said Nhyre through sobs. “But I think me keeping a straight face kind of helps him out, and not being sad every day keeps him going.
“So, I’m going to enjoy him while he’s here.”
“It (Nhyre wanting to donate) meant the world to me, and he means the world to me,” said John, who many of his players know as “Coach Q.”
If you want to help Coach Q, or learn more about becoming an organ donor, click here.