Greensboro restaurant owners host fundraiser for friend

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The downtown Greensboro lunchtime crowd is packing Dame's Chicken and Waffles. The featured items on the menu go together perfectly. Sort of like the friendships that began at UNC Greensboro over 20 years ago.

"We ate lunch together, hung out and went to parties together," Mario Singleton said. "The bond grew over the years and when we come back for homecoming, we pick up where we left off."

Singleton is describing his relationship with Randy Wadsworth, Andre Towns and Will Massey. When they get together, they normally talk about the day they met at the UNCG basketball gym and all the time spent playing video games. But lately their talks are more about Massey.

"He brought light into any room he walked into," Wadsworth said. "There are so many stories, I can't name them all. Every day was an adventure with Will."​

Friends knew Massey had a heart condition. But Massey explained that his cardiomyopathy never slowed him down on the campus basketball court or after graduation.

"Over the years, I went 22 years with no symptoms. I stilled played rec league, intramurals at UNCG and some pro-ams in Charlotte," Massey said.

But lately, fatigue and shortness of breath started taking over.

A Charlotte hospital has been Massey's home for a month. Massey now has a defibrillator. His condition worsened to the point that Massey had 1A status on the heart transplant list. Fortunately, they have found a heart for him and surgery is scheduled for 6 a.m. Friday.

On Thursday evening, Massey learned that doctors found a matching heart. Massey was concerned that doctors would not be able to find a heart suitable for his 6'5" frame. The surgery team pictured above will begin the long heart transplant surgery on Friday at 6 a.m.

"It really put things in perspective," Massey said. "I learned a lot about myself, mentally, physically and spiritually."​

"He would always make you laugh. If something was wrong or you were feeling down, he was there to pick you up. The type of guy you would want to do something for because he would do it for you," Towns said.

So, Towns and Wadsworth are working together to do something for Massey. The two are a part of the partnership that make up Dame's Chicken and Waffles. The Greensboro restaurant normally isn't open for dinner on Sunday and Monday. But on Sunday, Sept. 9 and Monday, Sept. 10, Dame's Chicken and Waffles will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. All profits will go toward Massey's medical care.

"I never knew I would need to lean on these guys so much," Massey said. "I never thought I would be in this position. For those guys to step up, it really means a lot."

For Wadsworth, helping out a friend just makes sense.

"I don't understand how someone can be in a position to help someone and don't help them. How do they sleep at night?" Wadsworth said.

The Massey Family has also set up a PayPal link.