Uncle to donate kidney to 3 year old, dodgeball team wants to raise $20K

Dodgeball team hopes to raise $20K for boy

FISHERS, Ind. - One local dodgeball team is playing for more than the love of the game, they are playing for one player's 3-year-old nephew who needs a life-saving kidney transplant.

Three-year-old Eli was born with kidney failure. He has been going to Riley Hospital for Children his whole life and undergoes dialysis three times a week.

His uncle is planning to soon donate a kidney to Eli.

"I'm incredibly excited. I just love the thought that it's going to make his life a whole lot easier," Thomas Hopkins said.

Hopkins hopes to be able to give even more.

He has a trampoline dodgeball team at Sky Zone in Fishers called the Shell Shockers. The team decided that if they can get to the National Dodgeball Tournament and win, they will donate all the prize money to Eli for ongoing medical bills.

The potential grand prize is $20,000.

"So not only has he stepped up to donate his kidney, but now he's really kind of taking the lead with all of the campaigning and fundraising. It leaves me speechless. I just never would have dreamed he would have been doing all this," Eli’s mom, Emily Hyde, said.

Some teams automatically qualified for the tournament, but the Shell Shockers will need to win a Facebook contest to make it to Las Vegas. 

If they get enough votes on Facebook, Hopkins and his team will play in the National Dodgeball Tournament the weekend before the September 18 transplant.

"The tournament will be on Saturday, Sunday, I will get back Monday and go in for my pre-op. And then Wednesday, I'll be giving a kidney to Eli," Hopkins said.

The window for voting to send the team to Las Vegas closes at 3 p.m. Monday.

Click here to vote to send the Shell Shockers to the tournament.

Follow Tanya Spencer on Twitter: @tanyaspencer6 | Facebook: Tanya Spencer

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