Over 100 people from three different churches are set to attend an upcoming Atlanta Braves game at the end of the month all on the dime of a local couple. But the absence of one special boy will be felt by all.
“We think he’ll be watching from above,” said Mary Greene, who lost her teenage son Marcus Trey Greene to heart failure nearly three years ago.
“Trey loved the Braves. We wanted to take as many people as we could to honor his memory,” said Russell Greene, Trey’s father.
On July 15, 2015, Trey passed away after a lifelong struggle with sickle-cell anemia and went into heart failure one year after receiving a heart transplant. Trey was the only child of Russell and Mary.
“It’s been tough,” said Russell. “It’s been three years and we have been through so much since then, and before, but we wanted to give back to some of the people who were there for us through everything.”
Russell, who is from Greensboro, and Mary, who is from Madison, invited members from three different churches to the game, rented two charter buses to drive everyone there, and arranged for t-shirts to be made with Trey’s face on them for everyone to wear while at the game.
The three churches participating in the July 26 Atlanta Braves game are Springfield Baptist Church in Madison, with Bishop Kenneth Jones, New Springfield Baptist Church of Siloam, with Pastor Roi Johnson, and Clark’s Chapel Baptist Church of Madison, with Pastor Cecil Champion.
Russell and Mary believe the baseball game is the perfect way to honor Trey’s memory, as it was their family’s tradition to go regularly to The Braves games.
According to the Greenes, although Trey was sick for most of his life, he fought to live to the fullest everyday.
“Trey was a smart kid. He was an honor student. He played trumpet in the marching band at his high school. He didn’t let his illness get in the way of conquering what he wanted to do,” said Mary, who graduated from Morgan County High School in 1986.
“If you had a chance to see him you would never think he was sick. No one would have known by looking at him,” said Russell.
But Trey’s positive attitude couldn’t repair his ailing heart. Shortly after Trey was born in 1999, he was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia, an inherited genetic disease that adversely affected red blood cells.
“There’s no cure,” said Mary. “Starting at six months old, all of his life, he was hospitalized many times from acute chest syndrome, pneumonia, infections and sickle cell pain episodes.”
In February 2011, Trey was diagnosed with Rosai Dorfman Disease, which further complicated his condition. “Rosai Dorfman Disease is a rare disease that attacked Trey’s heart with a large benign tumor in and around his heart with a third-degree heart blockage,” explained Mary.
The Greenes sought various treatment methods until Trey went into heart failure in October of 2013 and was sent to The Children’s Hospital of Atlanta. By January 2014, Trey received a heart transplant, and soon he returned to school to do what he loved most: study and play music. But more complications were to soon arise from his heart transplant. Trey’s new heart sprung a valve leak before his body ultimately rejected the heart altogether.
“I can’t even tell you what the feeling is like to be at top hospital and a bunch of doctors tell you there is nothing else they can do for your son,” said Russell. “They just told us to take him home and make him comfortable.”
On July 15, 2015, Trey passed away after his second heart failure.
“Trey was finally called home,” said Mary. “It hurt us to think about it in the moment. But God gave us strength to deal with what we were going through.”
Three years later, Mary and Russell, who have been married 28 years and live in Athens, planning to transform their grief into generosity.
“The baseball game is only the beginning,” said Russell.
Mary and Russell have launched a GoFundMe page called “Helping Families with Sick Kids” to raise money for a number of efforts to support families who are currently enduring the struggles they know all too well.
“We were that family in the hospital all the time. We were the family spending Thanksgiving and Christmas in the hospital. We want to help other families going through these things in anyway that we can,” said Russell, who hopes to raise $5000 for the campaign.
“So after three years, we are reaching out for help from the community, and anyone that would like to help us, to make this movement “Helping Families With
Sick Kids“ come true. We have been helping the community ourselves, and now we are ready to make this a normal activity with helping families. In Commemoration of our son Trey, we are taking 115 parents and kids to the Atlanta Braves vs. LA Dodgers game on July 26th, 2018. We are going on two charter buses, and we want to do more. We hope you can help us by donating to our cause,” said Russell.
The Greene’s plan to use funds raised to help cover meal and transportation costs, as well as other expenses, for families with sick children.
“We had so much support from family, friends, churches and schools. We thank God and everyone!” said Mary. “But we noticed there were some kids in the hospital for months just like us who didn’t have much support from family. There were parents who didn’t have money to buy a meal for their self. We spent many months in the hospital on Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and other holidays. So we would like to give back towards helping families with sick kids…there are some parents who have to travel four to five hours every week to transport their child to the doctor. If you don’t think this is not important, believe me it is, because this is something that you can’t predict, you never know when sickness is coming. This program will help families with co-pays, gas, food and for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas day.”
Mary and Russell were inspired by Trey’s compassionate and caring personality.
“We called him our “Little Martin Luther” because he just cared about everybody and this is what he would want us to do,” said Russell.
To donate to the Greene’s GoFundMe Campaign, visitwww.gofundme.com/helping-families-with-sick-kids or contact us them at email@example.com. Checks can be sent to make checks payable to Mary H. Greene at 240 Blueberry Hills Ct. in Athens.