Update: It has been almost a year since we shared Steve's story. Unfortunately, a kidney donor still hasn't been found. Steve is celebrating his birthday today. His daughter Brandi Bruce had this to say:

"Happy Birthday to my Daddy and Poppy to all of our babies. Thankfully, we were able to celebrate him with dinner at his favorite place last night. Feeling good enough to get out is getting harder and harder for him. We love this man bigger than he'll ever know. Please pray for his strength to keep fighting and the miracle of a Kidney Donor ASAP! PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING and we can help answer any questions or direct you to the right place.The dialysis treatments are doing a number on his body and every day is getting harder for him. His every day fight is harder than any of us could ever understand. Everyone asks how he is doing, but we can't explain how hard it is to watch him go through all of this and fight to survive every day. Especially when the only thing we can do is pray that a donor will come forward and we finally get that phone call that someone is going to save our Dad's life. I am begging you to share his story, keep him in your prayers, and if you've ever considered donating... PLEASE ACT QUICKLY and check into it. We need our Dad and at this point we are relying on someone to be his HERO! "

Brandi Byers Bruce
Brandi Byers Bruce

-Ashley Sollars, Digital Managing Editor

Original story from August 30, 2023:

Urgent help is needed for former Boonville Fire Chief, Steve Byers. He and his family are scrambling to find the community hero, a hero of his own.

Retired Fire Chief, Steve Byers worked 26 years as a firefighter and spent 18 years as Fire Chief before retiring to dedicate time to his family. To say he put his life on the line in the years he spent in his career is undoubted. Steve Byers chose a profession that required him to run towards a situation most run away from.


This past winter,Chief Byers was diagnosed with kidney failure and was told he needed a kidney transplant. Since then, the family has been searching for a match.

His daughter Brandi told me, "When my Dad was told that he was in complete kidney failure on February 6, our lives forever changed. We knew that he was in a fight for his life, and our family has been with him every step of the way. Watching him fight and suffer every day is the hardest thing I've ever witnessed in my life. It is heartbreaking knowing that he is so sick and all we can do is wait."

Byers Family
Byers Family

The family went through the screenings to see if there was a match but unfortunately, there wasn't. The Byers family is hoping someone outside the family will come forward to donate.

"Our family would give him a kidney if possible, but we've all been screened out as possible donors because of health issues and/or family genetics. Finding a living kidney donor to be my dad's hero would be the best gift that anyone could ever give us. He has six grandkids, three kids, and a wife that would forever hold that person in their hearts, for giving him the chance to make more memories."

Byers Family
Byers Family

Donor Requirements and Information

  • 18 and older (over age 55 is ok!)
  • Blood type according to the family does not matter.
  • BMI of 35 or less and in good health.
  • Must have active health insurance (THERE WILL BE NO COST TO THE DONOR)
  • Steve's transplant center locations are Vanderbilt Transplant Center and Indiana University Hospital.
  • Paired Exchange Program - When potential kidney donors cannot donate to their intended recipients because of mismatched blood type or tissue incompatibility, they can now enter the donor exchange program and donate to another person, which will allow their intended recipient to receive a kidney from another donor. (This info is provided on social media posts from family)

If you think you might qualify to be a donor and are at least 18 years of age, the family is praying that you reach out to the living donor hotline at:


What a wonderful opportunity to give the gift of life to someone who put their own on the line throughout his career. 

Take a moment to watch the video below explaining how to become a living living kidney donor and more on transplants. 

Not ready to be a living donor? Sign up to become an organ donor and help save lives. 

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