One man’s dream has come true all thanks to a baseball card — and his wife, too.
Steve Winfree of Knoxville, TN was diagnosed with kidney disease when he was 18, WATE reports. Doctors told him he would likely not live past 30, but still, he’s been holding out hope for a kidney donor ever since.
Winfree, an avid baseball fan, recently got some pretty spectacular health news courtesy of his wife, Heather, and a custom-made Topps baseball card.
Heather posted a tear-inducing YouTube video of the moment she (well, the baseball card) revealed the news.
The reveal begins around 1:10.
As Steve opens a new pack of Topps baseball cards, he suddenly realizes one of the cards has his photo on it. “What the heck?” he remarks.
Heather prompts her husband to check out the back of the card, which reads in part, “Steve will be a rookie recipient at Vanderbilt Transplant Center where his wife, Heather, will be pitching him a new kidney.” Steve, reading aloud, barely makes it through the sentence before becoming too choked up to continue.
“I found out today, while I was at work,” Heather says as they both cry, “that I’m a match.”
Steve posted a selfie with the card to Twitter, where he goes by the moniker “Knoxville Kidney Guy.”
— Knoxville Kidney Guy (@Steve_Winfree) July 8, 2017
Heather tells WATE she will return to Vanderbilt Transplant Center for more testing to make sure she’s in good enough health to donate. Her surgery is planned for the end of July.
As for Steve? He’s looking forward to feeling a little better, though he knows the transplant may not solve all his health issues.
“Half of my life almost, I’ve been sick and preparing myself that even though I’m getting a transplant, it’s not a cure, it’s a treatment,” he said. “Life after transplant’s still not easy.”
Though he’s still fighting through his illness, Steve is preparing to release a book on his experience with kidney disease. He says the book, titled Superman Needs Insulin, But Can’t Afford It Either, should be available by the end of 2017.