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A formerly homeless veteran turned handyman donates life-saving kidney to long-time customer

A formerly homeless veteran turned handyman donates life-saving kidney to long-time customer.
A formerly homeless veteran turned handyman donates life-saving kidney to long-time customer. Courtesy of Mary Antonelli.

A Maryland family has a new lease on life thanks to the kindness of their handyman – a formerly homeless veteran.

62-year-old handyman, Daniel Reynolds, is being praised as a hero after he donated a life-saving kidney to his long-time friend and customer, 75-year-old Tony Antonelli.

One day, while finishing an odd job for the family, Reynolds noticed Antonelli didn’t look well. When Reynolds asked if Antonelli was feeling okay, he said Antonelli answered no – that he had to start dialysis because his kidneys were failing.

I Would Be Honored

Antonelli’s wife, Mary, said that without hesitation, Dan simply asked “what blood type are you?” Pleased to hear Antonelli’s response, Dan replied, “Well that’s my blood type! I would be honored to give you my kidney. What number do I call?”

Mary couldn’t believe what she heard – “I just burst into tears,” Mary said. “And it’s kind of like, wow,” she added, describing her reaction about the exchange.

Mary and Tony Antonelli.
Mary and Tony Antonelli. Courtesy of Mary Antonelli.

Incredibly grateful, the family created a GoFundMe page “Veteran & handyman donates kidney to save a life,” to raise money for Reynolds since he won’t be able to work while recovering.

When asked why he was so eager to help, Reynolds explained his own struggles – stating that he served over 20 years in the military – experiencing hard times of loss, divorce, and homelessness after trying to adjust to civilian life. He also spoke of his appreciation for those who helped him through those tough times.

A formerly homeless veteran turned handyman donates life-saving kidney to long-time customer.
A formerly homeless veteran turned handyman donates life-saving kidney to long-time customer. Courtesy of Mary Antonelli.

“What I’d like for everybody to understand is, we can help each other in ways that are immense, you know. I know, we’d all have better lives if we just got along with each other,” said Dan Reynolds.

The kidney transplant took place at George Washington University Hospital this past Tuesday, February 23rd, and both men are recovering well, according to Mary Antonelli.


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