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My search for a kidney

Updated on September 13, 2010


Kidney disease is one of those diseases that you can't quite put your finger on in many cases. In my case, the doctor said there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. A disease attacks both kidneys at the same time Cancer may only attach itself to only one kidney, the bad kidney can be removed and things may be fine from then on.

From the time you are diagnosed to the time you receive a kidney from either a live donor or a cadaver may be a couple years in most cases. It was 22 months before my kidney was ready for me.

During our initial discovery and diagnosis we first went to Emory Hospital in Atlanta,Ga where things did not work out to our satisfaction. We transferred to Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta a private Hospital who just happened to have the top Kidney specialist in the country, Dr John Whelchel. He was my doctor.  I can't say enough about his great bedside manner.  

The staff at Piedmont Hospital were highly professional from the nursing staff to the janitor's helping us when we looked lost during our initial visit. The post operation and recovery was top notch no rough treatment, and the food was by order and tasted like fine cuisine dining; this is so unheard of. They took care of all our medications with a supply before we left the hospital with a classroom setting and a very good explanation.

We live in a small county in north Georgia where the people are all family and their concern was the main object. My family moved here around 15 years ago just because we like the lay of the land and the laid back of the people. We moved from Tampa ,Florida after calling it home around forty years. I have found that home is where you are happy we make less money but have a better way of life, my daughter is married to a fine young man who is studying to be a doctor and two grandsons. we live on 10 acres so there is plenty of area for gardens and 4 wheeler tracks, life is grand even with the kidney disease.

My donor, Mike Huggard, and his wife Deborah took time out of his busy schedule as CEO of his own company, Strike Hold.  A spray lubricant used in water proofing guns, tools, electronics, widely used in the military as well. Mike is a one of a kind.  A man whom I will forever be at his beck and call for anything.  People like Mike and his wife don't grow on trees anywhere, God bless you Mike and Deborah.

My work has stood by me for two years while three times a week I had to leave and do Dialysis, leaving work in the middle of the day, many a deputy has giving up there sick time and leave time so I could do dialysis without losing a paycheck, this you don't find in any large metropolitan town.

The whole town come out for a fundraiser we had here at Thunder Road in Dawsonville,Georgia and donated what they had.  We gave away the choice of the a 1967 Nova station wagon or the 1956 Chevrolet P/U restored with a 350 engine. The winner chose the P/U; a couple in their 50's who was a truck driver and only purchased one ticket. My friend, Shane Beaty, a Forsyth County business man who unselfishly donated the car or truck. Shane I owe you a dept of gratitude. So many people worked tirelessly like my sister in law, Amy Cox, who worked every weekend to promote and sell tickets for the vehicle. We had a large dinner for everyone and an auction of very unusual one of a kind gifts. It was a great party.

For everything that everyone has done for me and my wife to make sure we had everything we needed from the Sheriff Billy Carlisle to every Deputy and employee of the Dawson county Sheriff Department, I Thank you!

Without everyone's sacrifices this day would not have possible. So, to all my friends and fellow employee's who gave of themselves I truly thank you very much and my God bless.

I will be home soon to plan for the final party. I have planned for the whole town a large BBQ hopefully also at Thunder Road if the Mayor will allow it. The party will be on us and free to the town and all the people who helped me regain my life.  Again thank you all.

1967 Novs wagon all original donated for the fund raiser
1967 Novs wagon all original donated for the fund raiser
secount choice at fun raiser 1956 chev p/u 350 buckeck  restored
secount choice at fun raiser 1956 chev p/u 350 buckeck restored
Mike my Donor with his wife Deborah greeting me the day after
Mike my Donor with his wife Deborah greeting me the day after


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    Jake Brooks 7 years ago

    dear mickey i have to say i had a great time helping you with every thang and i am so very glad that every thang worked out with the kidney i relize good freinds are hard to come by but your a friend any one would be lucky to have and i know if it wernt for mike all this might not have happened by that i mean you being funny and out going like u were before and always remember your part of the family LOVE YOU MICKEY

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    MIki 7 years ago

    My twin I love you and am thrilled to see you get back to "Normal" soon! You deserve this Mick and although a this is life changing event, you have handled it with grace and integrity. A lesser man would thrown the white flag, but your stubborness has paid off this time! ;) Your the best!


    Your Twin!

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    Leah Humphrey 7 years ago


    I'm so glad you finally got a Kidney! It's been so hard to see my Dad who use let me balance by standing on your arm or use to take me fishing on bridge in Florida or Target practice. To see how weak you have gotten over the last few years has killed me. You mean the world to me even if I don't always tell you. I guess I get that from you :) I couldn't have asked for a better dad or even a better Grandad for my boys. One day they will realize how great you really are. Im so glad to know they will have that chance now. To Mike your donor- I can't believe they're still people like you left in this world who are so generous and completely willing to risk their own life to save another. If you hadn't come along who knows how this may have ended. I will forever consider you and your wife and family as my family now. If you ever need anything I would be there.

    I can't wait for you to feel all better we have so much stuff to catch up on-Alaska, Deep Sea Fishing and Mike (my husband) still is waitinh to so fishing for the first time. We all love you so much!

    See you tomorrow hopefully, Love you, Leah.