For the last five months, Gerrit Day has been on dialysis for a second time while awaiting a second transplant. He's only 16.
But for a few hours, Day and his family were able to put that aside and spend the day with University of Georgia legends and head coach Kirby Smart.
Jon and Matt Stinchcomb surprised Day on Friday. He arrived at the new University of Georgia Indoor Athletic Facility not knowing what to expect. What was waiting for them were the Bulldogs alums who were going to give them a personal tour of the $30 million facility and play some catch with him.
"I never dreamed that I could do something like this, especially experiencing it with my brother and my dad," Day said.
He walked across the practice field. Toured the meeting rooms, film rooms and weight rooms. He experienced nearly everything today's stars experience when they're not between the hedges.
"Today they got to see the full-meal deal," Matt Stinchcomb said. "If you play or coach at the University of Georgia on the football team, you see and do the things they all get to do."
The Stinchcomb brothers have worked with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta to give kids battling illnesses meaningful experiences for the last 12 years.
Day has battled with health and kidney issues his entire life. He was diagnosed at 20-weeks in utero with posterior urethral valve obstruction, a bladder outlet obstruction as a result of abnormal development.
Day's parents, after warned he would have little quality of life, decided to undergo a rare laparoscopic surgery to remove the obstruction. They didn't know it at the time, but it was only the 13th time the procedure had been done, and only the fourth to be successful at the time.
He was born prematurely with heart and bladder issues in addition to having weak kidneys. He received his first kidney transplant at age 2. Now, at 16, he's on dialysis for a second time while awaiting a second transplant.
"It’s so many issues. It’s not just kidney. It’s bladder. It’s heart. It’s pulmonary. It’s just a lot of challenges. I think through all of that, he just has a phenomenal attitude," Day's father, Royce, said.
To top if off, he got some one-on-one time with Smart, who is entering his second season as the team's head coach. They played corn hole, and Smart walked around with the family for some of the tour.
There were moments of laughter and happiness, something Day will keep with him forever.
"This is just something that I can never forget. It just guarantees I’ll be a Georgia fan for the rest of my life," Day said.
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