Treasures Are Meant to be Shared

Behind the podcast: Are you willing to share your life-giving treasure after you no longer need it? This is the question Pastor Joseph Kyles asks his parishioners and community members. As a double lung recipient, Kyles shares how he breathes new life into the community in the latest Let’s Talk Hope podcast at or wherever you find your podcasts.

Buried treasure, leaps of faith, and a village coming together sound like a best-selling adventure story; for Pastor Joseph Kyles, it’s the story of his life. Kyles, a double-lung transplant recipient, is a keystone to his west side Chicago community. Recently, he has become an advocate for organ, eye and tissue donation.

It began when Pastor Kyles developed a persistent cough. His wife Chrystal encouraged him to see a doctor about it. They were surprised to learn he was seriously sick and that he would ultimately need a rare double lung transplant.

During the eight years he waited for his transplant, Pastor Joseph and Pastor Chrystal continued their work healing the community. Their church fed the homeless, cared for children in need and founded a private school. Pastor Chrystal recognizes the stress of caregiving and the support she received from her village – the people in her life – while Pastor Kyles was sick.

Today, six years since his transplant, Pastor Kyles has worked closely with the fire and police departments to help build a new station in his community. He has educated staff, officers and neighbors about organ, eye and tissue donation. With gratitude, Pastor Joseph continues to enhance his community through his outreach work.

Pastor Kyles takes every opportunity to share his transplant story. In sharing his story, he has met people who were hesitant to accept a transplant and people who were reluctant to join the organ, eye and tissue donor registry. He identifies many of the myths and misconceptions around organ, eye and tissue donation in the African American community. Pastor Kyles urges people to not bury life-giving treasures when they pass away, but instead to offer to save somebody else’s life through donation.

Listen to Pastor Kyles’ complete story on our Let’s Talk Hope podcast at

Register your decision today to become an organ, eye and tissue donor. Talk with your family and friends about your decision to donate life.