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Give the Freedom of life; Donate a Kidney

Sgt. Jacob Chadwick

Maybe you never thought about donating a kidney, maybe, though, I can plant this seed…. And You never know…..

Let me begin by saying, I love my son more than I could ever successfully put into words…

LOVE, love is the catalyst here…

Please read ahead, so I can tell you about my son, Jacob. From the beginning, we chose his name because it meant love….. The chosen one…. He was a born a leader.

Jake decided while he was in High school, that he wanted to be a Marine. The effects of that silent sky in September 2001 prevailed. The day he turned 18 he was officially enlisted and was ready to leave after graduating high school. In September 2006, he was in the recruiter's car headed to boot camp and December found us at Paris Island, South Carolina watching him graduate from the toughest boot camp there is. I was so incredibly proud. My plucky young son was a dear memory, now. The compassionate, resolute young man was emerging.

Jacob never complained about his bumps and bruises. Even as a small boy enduring stitches and shots. The same was true during boot camp. Not one complaint, only his desire to be one of “the few, the proud” He was a Marine. Always brave, always steadfast, Jacob was fitting right into his footprint of a good man.

It was a July afternoon, when he told me he would be leaving for Iraq in December 2007. The long year in Iraq began. Once again, while there might have been plenty to complain about, Jake was doing the job he was committed to diligently, and waiting for the time he'd be home with his wife and family again. Jacob was promoted meritoriously to Corporal. Vicky spent that year not only keeping her new husband at the center of her attention, but also decided to give her time generously to Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages to brave troops far away from home, fighting for their country. This new family was serving their country together.

Jake returned home the following January, healthy and thrilled to be reunited with his wife. This healthy, active couple spent their free time doing things they loved, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, four wheeling, etc…One Sunday afternoon, Jacob broke his neck surfing. He miraculously made a 100% recovery! Jake also decided to reenlist, continuing his service to his country for four more years.

In the spring of 2010, the kids announced there would be a new baby in the fall. Over the summer of 2010, Jake began dealing with serious headaches thinking it had to do with his neck injury. Jacob was promoted yet again, Sergeant Chadwick!

In October, Jacob's doctor let him know he was dealing with severe hypertension and a possible problem with his kidneys. After much testing and numerous medications, Jacob was scheduled for a kidney biopsy. October 21, 2010, Jake had followed instructions to prepare for the surgery and woke up to find his wife was in labor!! Ella Marie Chadwick was born healthy and beautiful!! Jacob's biopsy was postponed a few more weeks.

Jacob was admitted to the hospital the week before Christmas with unexpected kidney failure. His Christmas present was his first round of dialysis. Without dialysis he cannot live. Jacob spends four hours a day, three times a week now, on dialysis. Dialysis mimics the function of the kidneys filtering the harmful toxins from the blood and regulates the body's fluid balance. The diagnosis finally came back as, Rapid Progressive Glomerulonephritis which is a condition of the kidney that is characterized by a rapid loss of kidney failure. In Jacob's case no known cause can be established.

Dialysis is extremely hard on Jacob's body making this young Marine very tired to a point where he can't even hold a shower head. Jacob has two options: 1. Get a kidney transplant from a living or deceased donor or 2. Spend the rest of his life on dialysis making him bind to a machine with his health deteriorating. A kidney transplant will help save and restore Jacob's life. It eliminates the need for dialysis to enjoy a life filled with freedom, energy and productivity. Kidneys from living donors also offer a number of superior benefits, from greater success rates to nearly double the years of function. Live donors are desired because there are never an adequate amount of cadaver donations to meet the needs of those waiting for a kidney. Donating a kidney doesn't jeopardize the donor's life; people live a long, normal, and active life with just one kidney.

As irony would have it, Jacobs's blood type is O. Blood banks love him since he is the universal donor. However when O types need kidneys they can only receive them from an O.

Furthermore, this is all I can do (As, I his brother, and wife are incompatible blood types); make the world see that my son is a valuable part of it. And pray that someone will be willing to donate a kidney. Remind anyone I can reach that Jacob has served well, along with his wife, our country in the most demanding way. Together they are raising a daughter, who needs her Daddy. If you have never thought about live donation, well, I hope I planted a seed... Please, please… pass this message along at the very least…. You just never know. Donating a kidney is much, much more than helping someone. Donating means saving a life; saving a family.

Our goal is to beat the odds of a 5+ year waitlist for a cadaver kidney, not to have Jacob's body take the toll predicted, and get him back into life where he can let his creative, compassionate, dedicated soul soar. To benefit a world in shortage of those who will strive to “get the job done” Thank You for reading. God Bless.

If you have any questions or interested in donating please contact [email protected].