By Alyssa Kerr
I can appreciate some irony every now and then, especially when it’s for a good cause.
On March 29, The Sparetime, one of Savannah’s newest additions to the bar scene, hosted a fundraiser for – wait for it – a kidney transplant. Alright, so the concept doesn’t make sense entirely, but we all know there’s no better way to bring Savannah’s nightlife together than with beer, music, and art – even if it means our own kidneys might take a few hits.
Ryan Nelson, a 34-year-old graduate of SCAD, has struggled with kidney problems since birth. Two years ago he received the official diagnosis that his kidney was failing. Nelson is in the middle of earning his second degree, is working part time (for the sole reason that his chronic illness keeps him from working full time), and is also engaged to be married. In the midst of all that, he performs his own dialysis five times a week. It’s no stretch to say that his kidney transplant is both necessary and imminent, but inconvenient as well.
The event was held on the top floor of Sparetime– an airy space with painted steel-blue wooden floors. Local artists donated their original works of art, which lined the room wall-to-wall and each piece was auctioned off for the cause. On top of that, seven local bands performed. From hip-hop to alternative, to southern and synthetic rock, the bands had the floor bumping beneath the feet of a close standing crowd. One artist in particular, Kid Syc@Brandywine, worked a connection with the crowd so much, that his feet got entangled in his microphone cord more than a couple times. He didn’t seem to mind. Each performer played from the goodness of their hearts (and kidneys!), which was evident by the sweat dripping from their chins after each set.
Operation: Ryan Needs a Kidney was a success, and I am happy to say that I don’t think any of us there did too much damage to our own kidneys in the process.
If you want to find out more about Ryan or donate to his cause, go to his Facebook pageContact Alyssa Kerr.