Donating kidney to father-in-law a slam dunk

Jake Carlisle stands behind his father-in-law shortly before he donated a kidney to him. (Undated courtesy photo)
Jake Carlisle stands behind his father-in-law shortly before he donated a kidney to him. (Undated courtesy photo)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Jake Carlisle has a bit of a size advantage when he starts of game of living room hoops with his three kids.

In this family, Carlisle stands tall in more than height.

Kathy and Jake Carlisle in an undated, courtesy photo.
Kathy and Jake Carlisle in an undated, courtesy photo.

Last spring, his father-in-law was dying of kidney failure. Doctors could not clear a single relative for a kidney donation. But Carlisle, as it turned out, was a true donor match.

The 36-year-old pro basketball player with the Vancouver Volcanoes decided to make the biggest move of his life.

“We talked about it and I felt great about it,” he told KOIN 6 News. “That’s when we decided to approach  (my wife) Kathy’s dad.”

The donor surgery was a year ago this month and turned out very well. Kathy’s dad accepted Jake’s kidney and is coming around slowly.

Kathy can hardly put her gratitude into words.

“I surprised myself with the words I’ve never used up to this point,” she said, “and that was how grateful I was that my husband saved my dad’s life.”

Jake Carlisle (33) on the Vancouver Volcanoes bench (Undated photo, KOIN 6 News)
Jake Carlisle (33) on the Vancouver Volcanoes bench (Undated photo, KOIN 6 News)

Back on the hardwood, Carlisle leaves most of the slam-dunking to his younger Volcanoes teammmates. But at 37, he’s still willing to put his body on the line to take a charge.

“I’m 100% back to normal and there’s really nothing I can’t do that I was doing before,” he said.

His 13-year-old son, Trey, is prouder than ever of his dad.

“He said, ‘My dad is a true hero and I’m so proud of him,'” Carlisle said. “I guess I had an impact on him.”

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