HOUSTON (KIAH) — Chase Hayles is suffering from kidney disease and has been waiting for a transplant since 2021. He’s hopeful, but admits, the waiting game for the right donor has been a challenge.
He’s had six rounds of chemotherapy and then a bone marrow transplant after first being diagnosed with AML Leukemia. After receiving antiviral drugs to treat his cancer, it started to damage his kidneys and urinary tract. “When I came when I woke out of intubation, basically to coma when I woke from that I was in complete renal failure. So we’ll see I was 32 at that time, and yeah, it was a bit of an adjustment definitely at first. You know, waking up and knowing that I was gonna, it’s gonna be a completely different way of life,” Chase said.
He was living a completely ordinary life before being diagnosed with renal failure and kidney disease. Chase was working at a rehabilitation center for those living with drug and alcohol dependency. “That was really my passion… helping these people, you know, who were at one time so lost, drug and alcohol dependency, like find a new way of life and some hope, you know, so that was very fulfilling. Yeah. Before and prior to that I was, I was working as an artist painting murals up in the hill country. So I did that for quite a few years and did really well,” he said. It was a major adjustment. “Renal failure is essentially loss of kidney function. And I think there’s there’s several ways that can occur. I know mine initially was caused by an obstruction on the urinary tract that caused basically fluids to backup on the kidney which is called hydronephrosis. But it’s essentially failure of the kidneys to function and process toxins appropriately, Chase said. “So what happens is with increased level of impairment, toxins will build up in the body, of course, in effect, you know, the body’s regular function. So cause a lot of lag and cause a lot of, you know, lethargy but also I don’t think it’s really talked about enough is how much it can affect the emotional state. Irritability when you’re not properly cause irritability when you’re not properly getting rid of toxins.”
His life was forever changed. There are two treatment options when a patient progresses to kidney disease, dialysis or getting a kidney transplant. In Chase’s case, before the sun comes up, he’s on dialysis treatment at DaVita on a machine that circulates his blood to clean out the toxins from his body three days a week. He’s often extremely exhausted both on an off the machine, but he needs a kidney so treatment is necessary to keep him alive. Nearly 100,000 Americans need a life-giving transplant and because of the limited availability of organs, those on the transplant waiting list can see even longer wait times for the right donor match. The average waitlist time is 3-7 years. For some, even longer.
Despite the life change, Chase is hopeful for a transplant to happen in GOD’s timing. He wants anyone out there in need of a transplant to know that life isn’t over after Dialysis. “I put my faith in God you know, that he’s gonna take care of me. And that, that when the time is right, I’ll have the transplant or not,” He said. “I mean, it’s there’s so much value to having strong faith because even if things don’t work out the way I want them to, I can still live a balanced life it’s all about perception.”
If you’d like to be a donor, there are options to be a living donor or deceased donor to donate your kidneys to someone after you pass. There are many resources for you to learn more about how you can help. Chase created an email at Kidneyforchase@yahoo.com for anyone who wants to donate funds or a kidney to someone who’s waiting on a transplant.
Instead of seeing his illness as a hinderance, he’s using his story to help others who feel like giving up. “It’s difficult to be on dialysis, but I feel so much better on my time off that it’s like, I’m enjoying life more to be honest. But um, you know, like, just transplant. I mean, that’s the other thing with transplant from what I hear I think transplant is like such an honorable thing,” Chase said. ” it’s so big for somebody to step up and give a kidney but with kidney donation with kidney donation, it’s the living kidneys that are donated from like from living donors are so much more viable than a deceased donor.”
Here’s how you can learn more about kidney transplants, treatment and even how to sign up to be a kidney donor.
- DaVita -Dialysis
- National Kidney Foundation– all kidney resources and treatment options
- Texas Health & Human Services
- UC SF Health-Becoming a kidney donor
- The Living Bank -Becoming a kidney donor