PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A story of perseverance as a local entertainer waited years to get a life-saving transplant and on Sunday, he says there’s good news that could save his life.
Jimmy Tighe of Pittston, who is largely known for his tributes to Rock and Roll Legend Elvis Presley, waited years to find out he would now have a longer life to live, all thanks to a complete stranger.
Many know him as an Elvis impersonator, the guy handing out the scarves, dressed in the flashy suits singing the king’s biggest hits, but for Jimmy Tighe, his search for a life-saving kidney is taking center stage after four years of waiting for the right donor.
But a few months ago, someone who didn’t even know him ended that search.
“This is unbelievable. It’s like somebody was sent to me and so gracious to do this it’s unbelievable. I never give up. that’s one thing I never give up,” said Tighe.
“We still can’t believe it. It’s been a long journey more so for him than anybody,” said Paula Ferrara, fiance to Tighe.
Tighe put up signs all around NEPA saying he was in need of a kidney donor. A few people reached out, but weren’t a good donor match.
That’s when Tina Belzer made a fateful phone call. Belzer was driving by here in downtown Pittston when she noticed this sign at Finos Pharmacy and thought she might be able to help.
“It said that he basically needed a kidney and I thought ‘Oh my god, I could probably do that and I could change someone’s life.’ I thought about it for a little bit and thought I’m gonna call because why not,” said Kidney donor Tina Belzer.
“August the 7th, she calls me in the morning and says ‘I got great news I am the perfect match.’ I describe it as I am over that hill waiting to grab that star and I am almost there,” Tighe explained.
Since that phone call, the two have formed an unbreakable bond. Belzer even visits Tighe for coffee in the morning.
“Why wouldn’t I want him to live his best life and his quality life so he could do whatever he wants,” Belzer explained.
Tighe’s transplant has yet to be scheduled, but he and Belzer hope to make that happen in the coming weeks.
Afterwards, Tighe tells 28/22 News he wants to do something for others and that’s to be an advocate for dialysis and hopefully perform his next shows during the holidays.