Whitewright rallies around neighbor who needs new kidney - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Whitewright rallies around neighbor who needs new kidney

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Datra Ball, right, has lots of good friends in Whitewright. (KTEN) Datra Ball, right, has lots of good friends in Whitewright. (KTEN)

WHITEWRIGHT, Texas -- Datra Ball is known for his green thumb.

"These plants are like people; we have to treat them delicate like we do people," he explained.

Caring for plants is also how Ball cares for his body.

"This is what i do to keep myself fit and stay in shape," he said.

Ball was diagnosed with renal failure, a condition that caused both kidneys to stop working. Now he must get dialysis treatments weekly.

'I refuse to let dialysis win, so I do odd jobs, mow lawns, rake lawns, trim rose bushes, pick up leaves," he said.

Friend Sheri Kent said Ball sometimes does those jobs without payment.

"He does not ask for a handout; the only thing he asks for is work," she said.

"It's about doing things to help other people," Ball added. "When they seen that, they started doing things to help me, and we became as one."

The community started coming together after hearing that he was second in line to get a life-saving kidney transplant.

"When he announced he was going to be on the transplant list, we started realizing what his expenses were going to be like," Kent said. "That's when people started coming together."

The town started a GoFundMe account to pay for medical and hotel expenses, and Ball has received donations across the state. The goal is to raise $12,000, but friends say you can't put a price tag on kindness.

"I  really feel like Datra is the glue that holds our community together, in all facets," Kent said.

On Saturday, the town will honor Datra Ball in another way: He'll be leading Whitewright's annual Christmas parade as the Grand Marshal. 

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