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Central Georgia coaches' love of baseball leads to kidney transplant

Two coaches who became friends ultimately became two brothers who now share one special bond, and it all started on a baseball diamond

JONES COUNTY, Ga. — Two Jones County coaches who became friends and, ultimately, brothers now share one special bond, and it all started on a baseball diamond. 

Christopher Garey is a husband and father to four boys that he also helps coach on the baseball diamond. For the past 8 years, Chris crossed paths with fellow father and coach, Josh Moody and his two sons. 

Moody said, "We would run into each other at the ballpark. We coach and travel against each other in all-stars and stuff." 

It was more of a fairly casual relationship than a friendship. That's before Chris was diagnosed in January with kidney failure and was in dire need of a transplant. 

"You know, when people came and asked me what was I going to do, I just said I was going to trust God because that's all I know what to do," said Chris' wife Lashawn.

Lashawn admits the diagnosis rearranged their lives. Her husband is on daily 12-hour treatments of dialysis, out of work, and just looking forward to better days ahead.  

"Even with the mental aspect, because one day, you're one way, and the next, your whole life has changed," Chris said. 

It would soon be changing again. Josh and his wife Laura Beth found out about the transplant need from a friend at church, and after a restless night, Josh realized that was all he needed to hear. 

"I woke up knowing God's plan for me was for me to donate my kidney to Chris. There was no doubt -- it was plain as day, that's His plans for me. The reason he put me on this Earth was this," said Josh. 

Laura Beth said, 'My children need to see this in my father. This is the type of man I want my boys to grow up to be and I want them to look at what's on the inside of people and see Chris as a father, a son, and as someone's friend and someone's brother, and I realized then that he was setting a good example for my sons and the community."

After months of testing, Josh and Chris found out they were a 98 percent match. During that time, both families have grown closer and are preparing for a successful surgery.  

Chris said he was, "Anxious, optimistic, but I know everything is in God's hands. I'm pretty good. I'm at peace, I'm calm, and I'm ready."

Chris says the two are more like brothers now, and Josh agrees. It's a relationship that all began on a field of dreams. 

Josh said, "At the end of the day, everybody should just love each other because it's just the right thing to do. Our boys will be in high school soon enough, and we'll be sitting side-by-side instead of across each other from the diamond. One big family."

The four-hour surgery took place Friday morning in Atlanta, and barring any complications, both patients are looking at 8 weeks of recovery.