Company picnic to raise funds for former employee with kidney disease

  By Greg Miller
  star staff
  gmiller@starhq.com
  Star Building Systems' company picnic on Friday will double as a fund-raising event for Scott Honeycutt, a former employee with kidney disease.
  "We will be using a Dunk-em tank to raise funds for Scott," said Evone Pass, Star's Human Resources Manager. Star employees will be able to throw balls in an attempt to dunk those who will be all wet from their volunteer efforts.
  The idea for the fund-raiser came about "during a brainstorming meeting with the picnic committee," Pass said.
  "I am very proud of the employees at Star for wanting to do a fund-raiser for Scotty and his family. The employees of Star take pride in trying to help their fellow co-workers."
  Honeycutt had a good relationship with the other workers at Star. "Scott had a very positive impact on all of his co-workers during his employment here at Star," Pass said. "He never complained and was always upbeat."
  Honeycutt, 37, first learned about his kidney problems 16 years ago. "When I turned 21, I was working for Pepsi in Johnson City," recalled Honeycutt, a Hampton resident. "I went for a physical to drive the truck, to get my CDL license. I wound up showing some signs of things, and they sent me to a kidney doctor, Dr. Wiegand. He ran some tests and did a kidney biopsy and determined that I had Glomerulonephritis.
  "I worked for several years after that. I think I was about 27 or 28 years old when I finally had to go on dialysis, and I was on dialysis for about three or four years. My first cousin, Michael Carver, was tested, and he decided that he wanted to give me a kidney and they did the transplant."
  After drawing disability for a period of time, Honeycutt was able to return to work. He was hired by Inland Container, where he worked for about nine months until the third shift was laid off. On March 18, 2002, he went to work for Star Building Systems, where he worked as a machine operator in the panel department until March 5 of this year.
  Honeycutt experienced signs that his body was rejecting the transplanted kidney. "I started staying sick at my stomach a lot," he said. "I would have to throw up. I had no energy and would feel fatigued all the time and was constantly drained."
  After going home from work, "All I would do is take a shower and lay on the couch, and that was it until bedtime."
  Honeycutt says only God's blessings are helping him and his family to make it through the current ordeal. Contributions from family, friends and churches are providing much needed financial assistance. "My mom and dad has pretty much paid our rent for the past several months," he said. "If it wasn't for people sending money from time to time, we couldn't make it. There are a lot of times that we don't know where things are coming from, and the Lord just sends it from somewhere.
  "I am currently unemployed and trying to get my disability back," Honeycutt said. "I went to the doctor last month, Dr. Joshi, a transplant doctor. He was going to put a stint in my kidney to see if that would help things, but when he got in there, he saw that the kidney was starting to calcify over. He told me that I was probably going to have to go back on dialysis pretty soon, and that the stint would do no good."
  Honeycutt says he is covered by Medicaid and TennCare and his family is on TennCare. "We do have some medical bills, but they are not like a lot of peoples' are," he said.
  Honeycutt's wife, Lori, works at Northeast Tennessee Medical Associates. The Honeycutts' daughter, Ashley, 18, works at Dr. Scott Caudle's office. The couple's son, Jordan, 16, is a junior at Hampton High School.
  The son of Stanley and Carolyn Honeycutt of Elizabethton, Honeycutt attends Crabtree Free Will Baptist Church in Roan Mountain. He graduated from Hampton High School in 1985.