April 14, 2005
Christmas, birthdays, graduation . . . Greg Gathers has received many presents in his life, but nothing like the gift he is about to receive from his mother.
Janice Gathers will soon donate one of her kidneys to her son, the former Georgia Tech football all-America whose promising career was cut short by a kidney disorder.
Gathers, Tech’s career leader with 31 quarterback sacks in three-plus seasons, was originally diagnosed with a kidney disorder in the summer of 2002 as he was entering his senior season for the Yellow Jackets. He played in Tech’s first three games that season but was clearly not the same player he once was as medication and treatment sapped his strength.
He tried to return to the field the following season, even participating in spring practice and summer workouts, but ultimately, his condition forced him to give up the game he loves.
Gathers turned all his energies to academics, graduating in May of 2004 with a degree in Management.
Following graduation, Gathers returned to his home in LaPlace, La. As his condition deteriorated, it became apparent that he would need a kidney transplant. His mother was found to be an ideal donor, but Greg had another setback in January. It was discovered that he had an enlarged heart, so the transplant was delayed to treat that condition, but he hopes to have the surgery soon.
Through all the challenges that he has faced, Gathers remains upbeat and focused on the future.
“I’m still involved with football, coaching at my high school,” said Gathers, who attended East St. John High School and is now teaching and coaching there. He would eventually like to get a start in college coaching as a graduate assistant.
Greg and Janice recently ran a 10-kilometer road race together, perhaps symbolic of their positive attitude.
“I’m definitely staying active and staying busy,” said Gathers. “I’m looking forward to having this surgery so that I can move ahead with my life.”
The Georgia Tech Letterwinners’ Club has set up the GREGORY GATHERS ASSISTANCE FUND through Wachovia Bank to assist this former Yellow Jacket with medical expenses related to his upcoming kidney transplant.
To contribute, please visit the Letterwinners’ Table on Peters Parking Deck during Saturday’s Georgia Tech Sports Day.
Contributions can also be mailed:c/o Georgia Tech Letterwinners Club150 Bobby Dodd WayAtlanta, GA 30332
Please make checks payable to GREGORY GATHERS ASSISTANCE FUND Account #2000021954191 No cash or credit cards can be accepted.
For more information, please contact Lucius Sanford at 404.894.8865.