In 2007 Mitch was diagnosed with IgA Nephropathy with both kidneys being affected. This disease would eventually would lead to a kidney transplant. He was put on multiple blood pressure medications to control blood pressure caused by disease as well as daily stress. Unfortunately, stress cannot always be controlled. Mitch was already having to deal with his mom dealing with stage 4 colon cancer in her pancreases when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. He was her greatest caregiver. He went to every doctor appointment, stayed with her during multiple hospital visits, and took her to every chemo and radiation. Her cancer eventually moved to her brain. To add to the stress, his father was diagnosed with brain cancer. His father died 5 months later in February 2014, and his wife died in October 2014. All of this stress caused his disease to progress quickly.
In February, 2015 his kidneys were only functioning at less than 3%. He was immediately admitted to the hospital. A tube for PD dialysis was inserted, but he would have to start blood dialysis immediately and continue it until the tube was healed. He was added to the MUSC kidney transplant list on February 13, 2015.
He started PD dialysis for 8 hours a day. This continued for 1 ½ years. This was definitely a life changing experience. This restricted everything in his life. He had to balance his daily activities to make sure he was home and hooked up to his machine. Traveling was even more difficult because he would have to take along his machine as well as make sure of a sterile environment. Then in October, 2016 it increased to 10 hours causing him to go on disability because there are only so many hours in a day. Stressing over daily life, his decreasing kidney function, and his need for a kidney transplant were compounding the problems. Life did improve in May, 2017 with his marriage to Tiffany Sweatman (daughter of Gary and Donna Sweatman). She is the perfect caregiver for him.
In November, 2017, his mom received an award as a Love Gave teacher where she told the story of her life including that Mitch needed an O positive kidney. A person in the audience said she felt like the only person in the room. She had previously been a daycare provider for Mitch’s new son. She spent a few weeks considering all she had heard and decided she wanted to go through the process to see if she was a match.
After a long process, we have been told she is a match! Mitch is hoping to receive her kidney in April! Because of your donations, Mitch has a second chance at life! Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
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