Good Sports: DeChambeau, Watney pair up for Gift of Life

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Two local golf icons are pairing up to give gift of life (KFSN)

Family can come in many forms.

"You go from a handshake to a hug is what's really happened. When you see it a friend you shake their hand or kind of say hey to them. When you see somebody that gave you life you hug them and tell them you love them," said Fresno golf pro Jon DeChambeau.

DeChambeau and Mike Watney are well known on the local golf scene.

DeChambeau is a local golf pro and father of Bryson DeChambeau, a rising star on the PGA Tour, and Watney, the longtime Fresno State Men's Golf head coach who's nephew is PGA Tour pro Nick Watney. Despite all the connections Jon and Mike weren't all that close until recently.

"Mike found out about my need for a kidney through an article that came in the Clovis Independent," said DeChambeau. "That article triggered him to call my son Bryson. Bryson called me and said 'Coach Watney's interested in giving you a kidney do you want to talk to him?' 'I said oh yeah absolutely.'"

"I had known Jon for 30 years but didn't know he needed a kidney. Really she educated us in the article about having two and only needed one, said former Fresno State men's golf head coach Mike Watney.

That began the process for Watney to donate a kidney to Jon.

"Since Jon and I are not directly compatible with each other, I'm donating to somebody who needs a kidney and then somebody else will donate to Jon," said Watney.

"I was about 3000 on the list to get a kidney and I've been on it for almost 3-4 years now," said DeChambeau.

Now both DeChambeau and Watney await a phone call which will send them to San Francisco to undergo the procedure.

"You don't have to be an exact blood match to give a kidney to somebody or save somebody's life. You can donate to the program and the program will associate that and bring another person in that gets a kidney to that person that needs it quickly," said DeChambeau.

"We have to two kidneys we only need one and if you are healthy you can really change somebody's life," said Watney.

And that's the greatest gift of all.

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