CHINA SPRING, TX — A 28-year-veteran and father in China Spring is in desperate need of a kidney, and he is looking for help.
It was while on his first deployment that Collin Mize felt something was wrong. However, he couldn't even fathom his organ was failing him.
"I started having symptoms of itchy and rashy skin," Mize explained.
After arriving back home, doctors confirmed the unthinkable - Mize had a rare and hereditary form of aggressive kidney disease.
"Its called FSGS, its pretty much scaring of the kidney tissue," Mize said.
He said that the condition renders his kidneys useless.
After being diagnosed, he was military medically retired from the Navy. He had served in the Navy for 6 years.
"It was time to go on dialysis, and there's no way I could have been active duty and been on dialysis at the same time," Mize said.
The 28-year-old father of two now spends the better part of each day attached to a machine, receiving daily dialysis treatments.
Mize was put on the Veteran Affair's wait list, which could keep him idly standing by for the better part of a decade, hoping to receive a kidney in time.
"The list is so long because we're all waiting on deceased donors, and those deceased donors have to be, its not just anybody deceased, they have to be brain dead. Their blood still has to be pumping, and they have to be organ donors," Mize said. "They're few and far between and that's why the list keeps growing and growing."
But a living donor could change their lives, and that donor could be you.
Mize is a part of a living donor swap program. In this program, a willing donor would have all medical expenses paid to donate their kidney to save Collin's life.
The program matches donors from across the United States to recipients.
Donors can live anywhere in the U.S. and still get tested to match for Mize.
The first step in becoming a donor is simple. Call the Living Donor Program Coordinator, Mr. Roby, from the Houston VAMC at (713) 794-7418. Give them Mize's full name: Collin Mize, and his date of birth: 08 Jan 1992.
By donating a kidney, you'll be saving a life.
"You have the chance of saving someones life and turning someone's world around, and in my case you have the chance of giving me the blessing to be the father I could be, and be the husband I could be" said Mize.