Fundraiser brings dollars and much more for Robert Grado

Robert Grado visited with friends and family, receiving hugs and kisses

When it comes to family and friends Robert “Bobby” Grado didn’t realize how many he had that would help him in his hour of need. His cousin Henry Grado (right) told him, “I will offer you my kidney because that’s what families are for.”


As we first reported in our last week’s edition, Robert “Bobby” Grado of Kansas City, Missouri Westside community, is in dire need of a kidney transplant. What has kept him from moving forward has been a shortage of money to cover the cost of medicine and to cover additional cost related to a kidney transplant before and afterwards. He and his wife Lilly had to accept the fact that they needed a helping hand. With the help of his children, family and friends, they put together a taco fundraiser hoping that people would come out and support his cause for a new kidney.

Kansas City Hispanic News attended the fundraiser and what we saw were women taking charge of the kitchen and serving up plates of 3 tacos and rice, others filling containers of both hot and mild sauce. Area businesses dropping off container of Mexican rice and everything else you need for making tacos.

Bobby Grado told Hispanic News, “I came to help in the kitchen, do whatever I could, but within a few minutes I was given the boot.”

He visited with friends and family, receiving hugs and kisses and others telling him we are here for you. Grado said he could feel the love beaming from all those who came out to support him as he prepares for a new kidney. “You never know how many friends you have in life, people who care about you. I’m so overwhelmed. Every time I look up seeing the crowd coming in I want to cry. Seeing what the community does for you… it’s a pretty close knit community.”

Grado admits it was hard for him to accept a handout. His wife Lilly and his children told him we have no choice because this is a new beginning for you. Once you get a new kidney there will be more expenses before and after the kidney transplant.

He told Hispanic News, “I’m grateful for Matt Beckemeyer who has offered his kidney to me. If it doesn’t match they will give it to someone else … then I will skyrocket to the top of the list. I’m praying on that.”

As Hispanic News was about to leave from the fundraiser we learn that a second offer was made to Bobby Grado as the fundraiser was in full swing.

Henry Grado said, “After reading the article in KC Hispanic News about Matt Beckemeyer willing to give Bobby his kidney and not knowing if that was going to work out… I say why don’t I give him one of mine… I’m willing to give him one of mind because he is my cousin. He’s been like my big brother my whole life… that what families are suppose to do, take care of each other. If I can do that and take care of somebody… that what I was put on this planet to do something. If that is to save someone’s life especially my family, I will do it. Bobby’s story really touched me because a complete stranger is willing to give my cousin his kidney. I’m 54 and healthy, I’m willing to take the test and do whatever I can and if it doesn’t match that’s ok because it will put me on the register to help someone else.”

Grado had a final message to all those who took the time to volunteer, cook, serve, and those that donated food, raffle items and money. “I love you all. I didn’t realize that many people cared about me… it just amazes me.”