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Man receives kidney donation from his pastor, now they run the AJC Peachtree Road Race together

Jack Abbott needed a kidney in 2021 and thought his running days might be over, but his pastor stepped in, and this year, they ran the AJC Peachtree Road Race.

ATLANTA — A pastor and congregation member were among those running in the Peachtree Road Race on Monday, and their connection is special - one has the others kidney.

Jack Abbott and Pastor Jimmy Slick of Summit Baptist Church caught up with 11Alive before hitting the finish line on Monday. 

"I didn't know what else to do on the fourth, so I came down here with Jimmy and my wife Sandra, and they got me to the finish line," Abbott said.

11Alive brought you this story last year in September after Abbott caught COVID-19 and needed a kidney transplant, putting his passion for running on pause. 

RELATED: Pastor donates kidney to member of his congregation following their COVID-19 battle

Abbott said after surviving COVID-19, he went from needing a kidney transplant to severely needing one. 

"I almost did not survive," he shared with 11Alive in 2021. "I did survive, but my kidney went down to five percent. I went immediately on dialysis."

In 2021, Abbott could not run the race but took on the vital task of examining the 6.2-mile Peachtree course. He's served as course director of the iconic Atlanta 10k for years.  

However on Monday, he said that his kidney is much better now, but his immune system still isn't the best. 

"Lots of infections and things really kept me from getting my running going," he said. "But I did the best I could."

Abbott was back in the race this year, and Slick decided to join. 

"I'm very appreciative of Jimmy," Abbot said. "He's my new best friend."

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