Stories of Caring: Cory's Story

Cory Frish’s eyes light up when he talks about Nebraska football.

His home is decorated with Huskers décor, with a Huskers windmill out front, and he proudly wears a Huskers sweatshirt. He says that he is an easy person to buy gifts for because he enjoys most things that demonstrate this Huskers spirit. His loyalty to the Nebraska team means more to him than football. It’s about what it means to feel a part of the community rather than out there all alone.

Cory went to high school in Creighton, Neb., where he was given a letter by the high school football coach for the help that he gave his team as the football favorite sport student manager. The Nebraska sense of community is what made high school and continues to make Huskers football so meaningful to Cory.
In August, when many are getting ready to go back to school and the classroom, Cory tells us
about some of the most important life lessons that he has learned outside the classroom: community, family and not sweating the small stuff.

Cory remembers how helpful and supportive so many neighbors, teachers, doctors in Omaha, grandparents and their priest were to them during the many difficult times their family has had to struggle with. Two of his sisters passed away at 16 and 21 years of age from kidney failure. And when he was in the sixth grade, a week after they had attended the funeral for his 16-year-old sister, Cory and his parents were given the news that he had the same kidney problems that she had just died from and that he needed to start dialysis right away.

Still dealing with the loss of his sister and the grief that his parents had over their loss, he had to face the fear and his parents’ fear that he might not make it, as well. While other sixth graders worried about their grade on a test and went back to their classrooms after lunch, Cory walked bravely to the specially sanitized nurse area to receive his mid-day transfusions that were given to him through a tube that he had placed in his stomach. He also had to have one at home before school, one after school and one before bed to keep his blood clean since his kidneys were unable to do it for him.

When he was a sophomore in high school, Cory received a kidney transplant from a hospital in Omaha that lasted and worked well for him for almost 20 years. Unfortunately, it eventually stopped working, so he is now back on dialysis.

Cory reminds us what his priest told him in grade school, that death is a part of life. This awareness of death helps us not to worry about the less significant things in life. Cory’s Huskers football décor is a symbol of his appreciation for his Nebraska community who he considers part of his extended family. Part of that extended family is the Nebraska Kidney Association. He has been the top seller for the Big Red Raffle for 17 years and currently serves as Honorary Director of the Nebraska Kidney Association.