When a helper asks for help

Published 12:18 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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Tracy K. Hall

Larry Jackson is a beloved member our community. For decades he has served our village with his talents, and they are many. Larry is known as the “lunchroom man.” He has made it his mission to pour into the hearts of our students and scholars for decades. He gets an upfront seat into the lives of our students and he invests his energies there as an effort to see a kinder and more colorful world.

Larry doesn’t meet a stranger, and he gives and receives love in a manner few have accomplished. He has an eye for the detail and he will meet people where they are, no matter where they are. When there is a community event going on you will find Larry offering a hand. However, he has had to slow down over the past 5-6 months. He started suffering from fatigue and swelling. As he went to the doctor, his lab work, “kept creeping up.” Larry has been diagnosed with Stage 5 kidney failure, which is secondary to his diabetes.

One of the hardest pieces of his medical odyssey has been retiring his position in the Sumter County High School lunchroom. “I love my babies. I told them I was coming back.” Larry has been in the hospitality field since he was 14. He is currently 64 and hates the idea of slowing down. His doctor was concerned enough about his condition that Larry has already received a port to take dialysis. Currently, he plans on starting it at home. His wife is a nurse and is capable of aiding in the 8.5 hour process. At some point, he will have to receive clinic based dialysis.

A kidney transplant is the ultimate hope. Dialysis is true interruption to life and several of his family members have been tested for donation. There is a hope that one of three family members will be a match for him. Larry is also on lists at University of Florida and Emory as a transplant candidate. Although Larry does have insurance the expenses are great and he is in an unusual position as he is the one who needs assistance rather than being the one giving it. This is a hard place for Larry to be. Although many have reached out to him, he is not comfortable being the one asking for help, but he is so very grateful for it.

People have supported Larry in various ways from physical, to financial, to emotional to spiritual. He is adamant that his supporters know the aid is most appreciated and will certainly be paid forward. Such is not hard to believe if you know Larry, he has a beautiful servant’s heart. Although still a little uncomfortable being on the receiving end, he realizes that even the greatest of givers have to take time to receive now and again. However, he wants those who give to him to know what they give will be applied directly to his care. The medical care required is extensive, but so are the pharmacy expenses as well as travel expenses.

Larry Jackson has a huge heart, and it is a heart that is in need at the moment. He knows our God can do anything and he is excited to see how He will work. Larry has already seen Him at work and celebrates those blessings daily. Larry wants it known that health is very important and we all see about it, “even when we don’t want to.” Larry reports kidney failure is a balancing act. While he must push fluids, there is a point where there can be too many fluids. He has lab work done every two weeks to make sure everything is as good as it can be. He wants his body in good shape to either endure dialysis or receive a transplant.

Larry looks forward to singing the praises of a healing. This community does as well. If you would like to financially support Larry, please visit his page at gofundme.com. The account is for Larry Jackson and the reason for the page is listed as “I need a kidney.” Mattie Smith set up the page. If you would like to donate directly to Larry, please do so by sending your gift to Larry Jackson at 196 Buttercup Lane, Americus GA 31709. Up and doing, Larry! Up and doing!