East Texas pro bowler puts career on hold to donate kidney

East Texas pro bowler puts career on hold to donate kidney

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Many East Texans don’t hesitate to lend a helping hand to a friend, but what about a kidney?

KLTV spoke with a man who is putting his professional bowling career on hold for months so he can give a school buddy an organ he desperately needs.

Thomas “Gid” Rash has been bowling for about 16 years, and he has gotten it down. However, he is about to go down for the count to help out a long-time friend.

“One of my friends has end-stage renal failure. His kidney function is nine percent, and he’s on dialysis every night. He’s got a wife and five kids. I have no kids, and honestly he needs it more that I do,” Rash said.

Clay Copeland, who lives in Weatherford, will be receiving Rash’s left kidney.

“Most of us have two, some of us have one,” Rash said.

Rash will soon be down to one, but Clay ...

“Will actually have three,” Rash revealed.

So, for a time, Gid will be giving up the PBA and the trips to ...

“Las Vegas, Denver Colorado, Albuquerque, Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma City, Kansas, Arkansas, Ohio,” Rash stated.

He hasn’t been taking those trips for very long.

“Two thousand nineteen was my first year with the PBA, and I did win our region’s rookie of the year,” Rash said.

“Did working here get you into it or was it the other way around?” I asked Rash.

“It was kind of a combination of working here got me more into the competitive side of the game,” Rash replied.

Even so, he has no problem putting the ball back in the bag for a friend.

“I have had people make it be a big deal, and for me it’s not. It’s just something that I feel like if it were the other way around he’d do the same thing,” Rash stated.

They grew up and played sports together.

“Didn’t bowl together?” I asked Rash.

“No, no, he skipped that one,” Rash said with a smile.

But now, well maybe Clay owes Gid a game or two, but either way, they hope the surgeries score a perfect 300.

Rash says he thinks it will take about a year to recover and get his bowling back to where it needs to be to compete again. He plans on going back to pro bowling full force in 2021-22.

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