A Kleberg County Commissioner wants to raise awareness of the difficulties of living with kidney failure, while fighting his own ailment.
Pct. 2 County Commissioner Chuck Schultz in a phone interview Wednesday morning said he is currently in the midst of a battle with stage four kidney failure and is working to improve his health while in search of a live kidney donor.
“My kidney function in the last four years has dropped from 46 percent to 9 percent functioning,” Schultz said. “And anything under 20 percent functioning is kidney failure. So, anything under 20 percent is when you start doing dialysis.”
Schultz has been doing treatment at home, and said his treatment has improved his health in the past few years.
“Everything has been going good,” Schultz said of his treatment. “I see a doctor once a month and they do blood work. I’ve been doing this for two years now. All the blood work has been coming back good, my dialysis treatment at night (at home) is doing the job that it is supposed to be doing and I feel good. I don’t have any downtime or anything like that, so everything is going just as normal.”
Schultz said his health does not prevent him from carrying out his duties as county commissioner.
“I will continue to do my work at the best ability I can do it, I don’t have any down time and everything is going good,” Schultz said. “If I do get a transplant, if I do find the live kidney donor, they say that the downtime is maybe two weeks after the surgery. So, in my job that I do as a county commissioner, I don’t expect any downtime. It’s just a matter of healing and keeping an eye on it.”
Shultz said he is anticipating waiting on the transplant list if he does not receive a live donor kidney for four to six years.
“There are over 100,000 people waiting for a kidney donor in the United States,” Schultz said.
Schultz said it’s important for people to be aware of the struggles others face with kidney disease, and people should try to help or donate any way they can.
“There is a donor list people can sign up for at the (Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital) in San Antonio,” Schultz said. “It’s important that we stay aware of what is happening and help people who are struggling with this disease any way we can.
“I was born with one kidney, and there are a lot people out there who were born with one kidney. You just have to get tested to find out. But, you can live a perfectly healthy life with one kidney. So, if you can give one up to help somebody live, I would think that would be a big gift for somebody who may need it.”
For those interested in being a live donor or for more information about kidney disease, visit www.livingdonor-MethodistSA.com or call 1-844-746-3338 or (210) 575-4483.