Woodbury, N.Y. - Glenn Nathan, the head coach of the St. Joseph's College (SJC) men's and women's tennis teams, has been selected as the recipient of the "Charles Karp Memorial Award for Overcoming Adversity" by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Eastern/Long Island Region. Coach Nathan will be honored at the 24th USTA Eastern/Long Island Region Awards Dinner on Tuesday, April 29 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, N.Y.
In a letter from the USTA to Coach Nathan it states, "This award is given to an individual who has demonstrated an attitude and drive that is nothing short of inspiring. You have been selected to receive this award as a person from our Long Island tennis community who embodies this spirit."
Nathan has fought a battle with kidney disease since his years in college and has received three kidney transplants in his lifetime. He has endured the process of dialysis for far too many years during his fight.
Fortunately, nothing has held Nathan down from his love of living his life to the fullest and his love of tennis. Glenn has lived out part of his dream of as one of St. Joseph's College most successful coaches for the past eleven years. When you look at his life it is unbelievable the road he has traveled to get to where he is today.
He was a four-year varsity tennis player at Sachem High School and a 1977 graduate. He played at Suffolk County Community College and graduated in 1980. In 2000, Nathan earned a bachelor of science in physical education from Adelphi University but nearly two decades earlier was a walk on student-athlete for the NCAA Division II tennis team.
One could not have known by seeing him, that he found out his kidneys were failing in his second year at Suffolk. He started home dialysis two years before he went back to college at Adelphi and played while on dialysis.
Glenn has lived a life of renal failure - starting dialysis at the age of 20. He trained for home dialysis at Downstate Medical Center in 1979, with his mother as his helper, so he could have the flexibility to eventually go back to school and try to live as normal of a life as a 20-year-old could under the circumstances.
As an assistant tennis pro at Miller Place Racquet Club, Nathan and head pro Vito Brenna worked on his game. He went from having to rest after each point, just to catch his breath, to playing Division II tennis at Adelphi.
Glenn spent eight years on home dialysis while he finished at Adelphi, worked with a sports promotion company planning and running tennis tournaments, and teaching tennis in addition to meeting and falling in love with his wife Denise of 27 years.
Nathan's first kidney transplant was at the age of 28 in 1988 at Brigham Women's Hospital in Boston. With many complications from the transplant, he was in the hospital from July to November, never thinking he would see Long Island again. After the very rough start, the transplant lasted eleven years. It was while he was an assistant tennis coach at Old Westbury College that he found out that his transplant was failing.
After a short time back on dialysis, Glenn's father gave him a kidney at the age of 69. "After ten years with my father's kidney, my kidney function started to fail and in January 2011 I ended up back on dialysis," recalls Nathan. "Now add dialysis three times a week to my already very busy and productive days.""
I have always lived a full life, working as a full-time sales rep. Now I am on my seventh year with Silver Line Windows by Andersen and part-time men's and women's tennis coach at St. Joseph's College. I have taught tennis privately and am a father of three beautiful daughters – Alyssa, Lindsay and Courtney - and have a loving wife who has been a key part of my drive to live my life to the fullest with all of the obstacles that I have had to overcome."
On Sunday, November 4, Nathan got a call from New York Presbyterian Weil Cornell that they had a kidney for him and the following day he was transplanted. Without any complications and a working transplant, he was released from the hospital. That Friday he was able to attend his daughter's Sweet 16 party.
"This transplant has given me back the time and a quality of life that allows me to be a productive salesmen, the ability and strength to support and enjoy my family, the drive to volunteer and give back to the End Stage Renal Community as a recent past board and committee member for American Association Of Kidney Patients, IPRO/ESRD Network of New York and New Jersey Healthcare Associated Infections Learning and Action Network Committee member. In the tennis world, I continue to follow my passion as a college tennis coach at St. Joseph's College, am a board member on the Bayport-Blue Point Community Tennis Association and a local tennis pro."
"The "gift of transplant" works, as I am a living example. But more important of what I have accomplished is encouraging the very difﬁcult decision of giving "the gift of life" from those who are living and those who have lost a loved one making that difﬁcult decision to allow another person's life to live on from a tragic loss. "
Nathan added, "Nearly 10,000 people in New York are waiting for some kind of transplant. Please help life live on, sign your license and talk to your family about recycling your organs!"