Doug Boston is the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back.
And his kidney.
And his blood.
And, well, whatever else you think you might need.
Just ask Lisa Prado, Mr. Boston's co-worker at Flower Hospital in Sylvania.
Two years ago, Mrs. Prado's husband, Ernest was in failing health. His kidney, which had been donated years before, was failing and he needed transfusions of blood. She asked around her department to see if any co-workers would be willing to donate some blood.
Mr. Boston, a fellow surgical nurse at Flower, immediately stepped forward. A longtime blood donor, he had donated more than 200 times to the American Red Cross, so he gladly helped out.
But despite the transfusions, Mr. Prado got sicker and eventually had to have his kidney removed and be placed on dialysis while he waited for a new donated kidney. No one the Prados knew, including Mrs. Prado, was a match.
When Mr. Boston, 42, heard about that, Mrs. Prado said he approached her with a simple question: "How about me?"
She was stunned. Mr. Boston barely knew her husband. She cautioned him that there was a lot of pain involved in a transplant, was he really sure about this? Yes, Mr. Boston insisted, he wanted to help. He was tested and his kidney was a close enough match to work.
So, in December, one of Mr. Boston's kidneys was transplanted into Mr. Prado. Today, both men are healthy and doing fine. Mrs. Prado is still amazed at her co-worker's kindness, though she said the kidney donation is just the latest in a long line of stepping up and helping out by Mr. Boston.
Someone in their department is sick and has used up their sick time? Mr. Boston is quick to step forward and volunteer his.
The Multiple Sclerosis Society needs money for research? Mr. Boston agrees, every year, to go on fund-raising bike rides.
The Ronald McDonald House in Toledo needs a little help? Mr. Boston organizes an annual Thanksgiving Day brunch for families staying at the house.
Future nursing students may not have money for college? Mr. Boston starts a scholarship at Lourdes College, his alma mater, to help needy students.
Foreign exchange students from Germany need someplace in Toledo to stay? Mr. Boston opens his house every summer to a German student. He even, at his own expense, makes sure he takes the students to Washington every year so they can see the nation's capital.
"He's just a wonderful man with a heart of gold who keeps on giving and giving," Mrs. Prado said. "And he thinks this is no big deal."
The "no big deal" part is certainly true. When approached about his donating a kidney - as well as his countless other volunteer actions - Mr. Boston quietly deflected the praise.
"It's not just me," he insisted, saying lots of people he knows help out.
Maurine Weis, director of surgery at Flower and Mr. Boston's boss, said that's typical.
"He's very modest. He does not like recognition," she said. "But he's just a ray of light. He has other people's best interests at heart. He's always the first to say, 'What do you need and how can I help?' He just makes me stand back and say 'Wow.' "
While lots of people are generous, Ms. Weis said, the thing unusual about Mr. Boston is "Most people have a cause, but every cause belongs to Doug. He hears what needs to be done and does it. That whole bit about pay it forward? That's how he lives. He'd literally give you the shirt off his back, or the kidney out of his body."
"It's just the way I was raised," Mr. Boston said. "You do what you can to help. You don't have to be a superstar to help impact someone's life."
You just have to be like Doug.
Contact Luke Shockman at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6084.