FREMONT, Mich. — Surrounded by nature, Kyle and Rose Weis describe their Fremont home as the perfect place to unwind.
“We’ve been through everything,” said Kyle. “She takes care of me, I take care of her.”
They say it’s a good thing, because after 28 years of being together they try to relax a lot more nowadays, hoping it will help the couple face their biggest challenge yet.
“End stage renal disease,” said Kyle. “Total kidney failure.”
In 2017, doctors diagnosed Kyle with kidney disease.
“Tired,” said Kyle. “Weight gain, retaining a lot of water.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kidney disease is a chronic illness that impacts 15% of adults in the United States. The two main causes include diabetes and high blood pressure.
Kyle says doctors attribute the latter to his case, tying the stress to his job as an electrical worker.
“It was testy,” said Kyle. “I was kind of in denial.”
Despite making lifestyle changes and going to dialysis for treatment, Kyle’s kidneys now function just under 15 percent, meaning a donor is his last option.
“It’s something I would’ve never thought of,” said Kyle.
Kyle says he’s set to go on the national transplant list in two weeks, but the National Kidney Foundation lists the average wait time for a patient between three to five years. That is time Kyle does not want to wait for.
“I’ve got a long life to live and I expect to,” said Kyle. “I’m at the top right now, I’m starting to go down,. Retirement, I’m looking forward to that, and things, everything is going well.”
His family believes a living donor could be the solution. They’re now asking healthy adults with blood type O to consider donating their extra kidney.
Kyle promises it will not go to waste.
“Treat myself a little better. Eat correctly. Do your exercise,” said Kyle. “Start working a little less and you’re going to enjoy life.”
But if not for him, Kyle hopes, maybe for someone else.
“There’s a lot of people out there, it’s not just me,” said Kyle.
He says at the very least, he hopes his story reminds people to care of themselves.
“Watch your blood pressure, get to the doctor, regularly, and have things checked,” said Kyle. “Easy off, life ain’t so stressful.”
If interested in being a match for Kyle, people can call his sister-in-law, Tammy, at 616-890-5894.
To become a donor in Michigan, click here.