Most people feel lucky if they work with people they like. But Northfield's Dennis McCabe works with someone willing to save his life.
The 61-year-old bartender at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City needs a kidney transplant. Server Michele Whitmore-Simpson, 49, of Mullica Township, is giving him one of hers, which amazes McCabe, he said.
It all started when the two worked together last New Year's Eve.
Whitmore-Simpson wanted to be out having fun and was feeling a little sorry for herself when McCabe showed up in a good mood, even though he was struggling with dialysis several times a week and had little hope of finding a donor.
"I said, 'What a brat I'm being. Here he is coming in to work, still smiling,'" she said. "It gave me perspective."
After learning they both have Type A blood, and the surgery is laparoscopic rather than requiring a large incision, she decided to donate.
McCabe, who recently gave up his main job captaining a 70-foot yacht because of health problems, began working at The Golden Nugget when it opened as the Hilton almost 30 years ago. Whitmore-Simpson joined when it was Trump Marina more than 20 years ago. She said she considers her co-workers part of her family.
The transplant, set for mid-May, will be McCabe's second. His brother Danny, of Northfield, gave him a kidney 15 years ago, but it has reached the end of its lifespan. Doctors don't know the cause of his initial kidney problems, but theorize a virus may be the culprit.
Friends are holding a fundraiser, "A Gift for Michele," 3 p.m. May 19 at the Log Cabin in Margate, to help Whitmore-Simpson cover the cost of being out of work while she recovers. Tickets are $10. Call Buddy McCabe at 609-703-4737.
Decoy carver featured
The work of South Jersey renowned bird and duck decoy carver Harry V. Shourds II, of the Seaville section of Upper Township, will be featured in "Bayshore Traditions," which opens at May's Second Friday event 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. May 10 at the Bayshore Discovery Center in Bivalve.
Shourds, 82, has received the National Heritage Award. Visit bayshorediscovery.org.
Kathleen Podolski has been appointed clinical manager of the Progressive Care Unit at Cape Regional Medical Center in Cape May Court House.
She joined the hospital in 1987 as a unit clerk and became a registered nurse in 1997. Her husband, Bob, is a chef who owns Chef's Connection Mobile Food Truck. They live in Green Creek.