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For Rev Indy chef Eddie Sahm, the cause is personal

Eddie Sahm is preparing to serve up barbecue to guests at the sold out event this Saturday.

INDIANAPOLIS — There's a new featured chef at Rev Indy this year.

Eddie Sahm is preparing to serve up BBQ to guests at the sold out event this Saturday. He said contributing to the cause is personal for him and helps him be his best.

"You love barbecue? I'll show you around," Sahm said.

Sahm is always happy to give a tour. He's grateful his restaurant, Half Liter BBQ and Beer Hall in Broad Ripple, survived the pandemic.

"We have our barrels, all down there, we have our bourbon barrels that we're always aging beer in," he said. 

The business is thriving and so is he, after surviving an illness that put all his dreams at risk.

"It's a disease that you don't really know that you're as sick as you are, 'cause it's not like a drop, it's slow," Sahm said. 

But eventually, Eddie made a post online, a call for help. A public appeal for a kidney donor after more than two decades of disease.

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Brian, a friend's brother, stepped up as a living donor.

"The guy who did it, he kind of let me know. His brother called me, my best friend, and he said 'Merry Christmas!' I thought he was just calling, and I said, 'Merry Christmas, man!' and he said, 'No, you got a gift coming, my brother is your match, you are going into surgery in seven days,' and I'm, like, 'Here we go!'" Sahm said, laughing.

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That generosity allowed transplant surgeon Dr. Bill Goggins to get to work.

"He wasn't doing great," Goggins said. "His energy level was dropping dramatically, he wasn't able to do what he wanted to do and were really feeling that things were going the wrong way."

Checking back in like this, years later, to see firsthand how a patient is doing is an opportunity this doctor rarely gets.

"To see one how fantastic he looks and just living his life and being just so successful and everything, it's fantastic. It's wonderful, actually. It's just wonderful," said Goggins.

Sahm is grateful, and he's gathering his team to give back at Rev.

"It's a fun event, but it was just also a way for me to feel like we were helping, you know, I can maybe tell the story of what it looks like to raise money and someone who is better because of what the hospital and the doctors and the staff provided," he said.

The IU Health Foundation fundraiser this Saturday is a kickoff to the monthlong countdown to the Indianapolis 500, and by then, Eddie and his wife Courtney could be celebrating a major milestone. Their first child is due soon.

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