David Ayres is experiencing more than 15 minutes of fame, and he’s using his time in the limelight to help a good cause. Ayres is teaming up with the Kidney Foundation of Canada to create an emergency fund.
As an added bonus, Ayres notes that June and Russ Jones of Ottawa will match donations up to $50K.
Ayres rose to fame as a 42-year-old Zamboni driver and emergency backup who helped the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Toronto Maple Leafs. Things only took off from there.
The Hurricanes went on to sell David Ayres T-shirts. Upper Deck issued Ayres hockey cards, and the Hockey Hall of Fame even put his stick on display. Even the NHL loosened up about trying to prevent other emergency backup situations.
David Ayres explains his own experiences as a kidney transplant recipient
With all of that in mind, it’s fantastic that Ayres is giving back.
Here is part of Ayres’ message via the Kidney Foundation of Canada’s website:
As a kidney patient and transplant recipient, I know that coping with dialysis treatments and its effects are challenging in the best of times. Now that our world is turned upside down due to the pandemic, I’m jumping in to help with another emergency situation.
Patients are reaching out more than ever to access the Kidney Foundation programs and services they need to cope emotionally and financially.
This increased demand means there is an equally urgent need for the Foundation to have the resources available to provide this support.
I need your help to make sure kidney patients get the help they need.
Ayres expanded upon those experiences during an interview with Global News Radio 980 CFPL. He detailed daunting experiences of isolation, and the draining process of going through dialysis.
Ayres wants to raise money for others dealing with kidney issues. With so much attention understandably paid to dealing with COVID-19, Ayres wants to help draw attention to another worthy cause. After all, many aren’t as lucky as Ayres, who received help from family members.
“Dialysis takes a lot out of you,” Ayres said in that interview. “So to be able to try and even drive home afterwards… once I kind of got into mine a little more, I was able to do that, but at the beginning, you can’t.”
This was already a feel-good story. If Ayres can help raise money for those in need, it will get even better.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.