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Help a Community Member Who Always Gave Back

Buffalo resident Ike Gray has never asked for help from those around him. In fact, he and his wife, BG, are known in their community for giving back and helping those in need. Every Thanksgiving, for instance, the couple has prepared meals for senior citizens and the homeless to brighten their holiday. Now, as Ike prepares for a kidney transplant surgery later in June, the couple is reaching out to the community for help covering the cost of the surgery. 

On June 13th, with the help of the Kidney Foundation, a benefit is being held for Ike from 1PM to 5PM at the Dnipro Ukrainian Center, located at 562 Genesee Street. All proceeds from the event will help offset the expenses incurred through the transplant surgery. “Come out and celebrate new life because to receive a kidney – and the kidney is coming from our son – is to have a new life,” she said, thankful for any support shown to her husband. 
The Grays were shocked when they received the news that Ike’s kidneys were failing. Soon after, he was admitted to the hospital because of problems with both his lungs. Ike received treatment and was put on dialysis; he has now been on dialysis for 15 months. “I’ve never been a person who’s always sick,” Ike said. “It kind of taps into your faith and sometimes you get a little weak,” he continued. 
Still, he and his wife have tried to remain upbeat through the entire process. “It has actually drawn us closer together,” BG said. “Through God giving us strength, endurance and understanding of the spiritual and natural life, we’ve come a long way,” she continued. Ike will receive the ultimate gift from his 25-year-old son when he donates his kidney to his father. “It means so much to me. I’ll start crying if I talk about that,” he told me, truly grateful for the sacrifice his son is making. 
When asked to describe her husband, the first word that BG utters is: “Effervescent.” She continues on to say, “He’s very jovial, outgoing, and loving.” The Grays own a restaurant together on Buffalo’s East Side – Ike and BG’s, located at 1646 Genesee Street, a favorite of local barbecue lovers for the past 13 years. “I like to see people enjoy food. I like the communication and fellowship with people,” Ike said. He also loves being able to use the restaurant to reach out to the community; Ike and BG once provided food for more than 500 people in a single day. “I love doing that,” he said. “I like helping people.”
The Grays really appreciate any help you can provide with defraying the cost of Ike’s surgery and look forward to seeing you at the benefit! 

Written by David Steele

David Steele

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( www.blurb.com ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

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