HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - "They told me that I have a 1 in 1000 chance of getting a kidney which is slim to none," Charlie said.
Charlie Ross was only in his 20's when he was diagnosed with the same disease that claimed the life of his father and grandfather before him. Just about to join the Police Academy and start his career, and family...Charlie was determined to fight through it. Since then, things have gone from bad to worse.
"It's really starting to weigh down on me I've always kind of fought it but it's getting tougher to do," Charlie said.
Charlie spent years as a Police Officer in Watkins Glen, a Chief in Addison, and even graduated from the FBI National Academy.
However, after multiple heart surgeries, a bout with cancer, and the loss of his kidneys, Charlie was forced to hang up his badge and uniform and spend his days at home filtering the poisons out of his body through dialysis.
"It's hard because that's what I wanted to do ever since high school that's what I wanted to do and that's all I geared myself towards and now just recently a lot of the guys I worked with are starting to retire and moving on to their second adventure in life but it's hard," Charlie said.
While his former Brothers in Blue are enjoying more time with their families, Charlie and his family are praying for the same.
"The timeline here is my body is starting to tell me that something needs to change," Charlie said.
Even the most simple daily tasks can leave Charlie feeling tired and breathless...His body, slowly shutting down.
"It's very hard to watch somebody who means the world to you suffer like this," Charlie's daughter Miranda said.
"He's been through, I think we were totaling it up, about 13 surgeries...multiple times in the hospital and they just sort of have this mentality almost like their Dad's invincible and I think what I worry most about is what happens when he's not someday," Charlie's wife Jennifer said.
"It crosses your mind. I got a little used to missing things with my career but we always talk about things like that, we try to set goals. It really is all new with where it's coming to the point where it's really starting to weigh down on me," Charlie said.
The cure...A new kidney.
Charlie's family has already been tested. His wife Jennifer is not a match and because his children have a 50 percent chance of having the same disease, they aren't even eligible to donate. Now Charlie and his family are asking for your help. It all starts with a simple phone call to learn more.
Doctors at the University of Rochester tell Charlie he has a 1 in one 1,000 chance of finding a match. His family is hoping for a miracle.
"I know the kids want their father to be around for events that will happen in their lifetime and I know I need him around," Jennifer said.
"My whole life I've had to worry that he wasn't going to be there the next day. My worry my whole life has been my father. When you're younger and get a birthday cake and they tell you to make a wish I never was like most kids that wanted a gift or something it was always to find a cure for him, a kidney, something! It was always that," Miranda said.
If you are interested in learning more about kidney donation and if you could be a match for Charlie, click here.
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