CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jim Roberts is just three months into retirement, but he stays pretty busy with his wife of 49 years, Linda, along with their three daughters and nine grandchildren, who all live within 15 minutes of their home.
There is nothing the former United States Air Force pilot enjoys more than his grandkids, who embrace competition just like the man they call Poppy.
"Sometimes we play games," he said.
However, Roberts' latest bout isn't one the family can fight. They might be perfect to him, but, unfortunately, they're not a perfect match.
"It's all a waiting game with this transplant thing," said Roberts.
The 72-year-old has end-stage renal disease, which means without a kidney transplant, he's destined for a life of dialysis or death.
"That could happen next week if the kidneys crashed on out. You just live day-to-day, as they say, and see what happens," Roberts said.
He's had kidney problems for the last decade, but the doctor says now is the time for a transplant. Roberts said he keeps his phone charged, always ready for a potentially life-saving call but so far the cell phone has been silent.
His family had an idea that came to life in a Facebook post with a picture of the grandkids holding signs that read, "Our poppy needs a kidney, can you help?" The photo features all nine grandkids, essentially asking for more time with their Poppy.
"My daughters helped me post this thing, and it just took off," Roberts said with a laugh. "It's like 800 shares; I'm learning what all that means."
The competitive grandfather has been overwhelmed by the post, and he's convinced a victory is inevitable.
If you're interested in learning more about kidney donation, call the CMC Transplant Center at 704-355-3602.