Fighting for his future: Local teacher battles kidney failure

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Chris Rodriguez knew from childhood that he wanted to be a teacher to help influence lives, but the help of a stranger could help save his. Rodriguez was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, also known as kidney failure, in 2012 at just 22 years old. He said while the exact cause of his condition is unknown, he feels that a misdiagnosis of tuberculosis during his childhood played a role. 

Though he was given the TB vaccine as a child, which would give his tests “false positives,” Rodriguez says his school put him on heavy treatment medication anyway. Rodriguez said his current doctor told him possible side effects of those drugs are liver and kidney problems.

Dialysis days begin at 4 a.m. and Rodriguez is often so weak afterwards he cannot drive himself home. He said he sits and cries aloud, “please, God, let me find a donor.”

Rodriguez has setup a GoFundMe to assist him with medical bills as he awaits a kidney donation, but said, “It’s not about the money for me…I just want my old life back.”

Rodriguez is currently a part of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), which is a kidney transplant wait list that provides people with living and deceased organs. Unfortunately, according to the USC Transplant Institute at the Keck Medical Center, UNOS has wait times that can exceed 10 years.

Rodriguez has an O+ blood type, and if you are interested in more information or would like to be a donor please click here.

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