Give Someone a Chance at Life
photography: Studio One
words by: Michael dozier
"GO TO THE DOCTOR. LISTEN TO THE DOCTOR. BECOME AN ORGAN DONOR.HAVE FAITH!"
Michael Dozier has a mission and this is the message of his miraculous story of survival. He lives now with a second chance someone gave him.
On November 20, 2013, Michael was attached to a dialysis machine. Three times a week it pulled waste from his body that his failed kidneys no longer could. In 2007, his diabetes led to end stage renal disease. which landed him on a donor list. He was prepared to be on dialysis permanently and never receive a kidney, but he kept faith that it would happen.
He'd had chances to fix things before they got here. Doctors warned him in 1981, when at 24, he discovered he was a borderline diabetic, then again, in 1992, when a near coma-inducing blood sugar level showed he had full blown diabetes. He'd lost his mother and two brothers to it. But he didn't stop eating unhealthy foods, drinking, or using hard drugs. He didn't check his "levels", even as the signs got scarier. Later, he watched friends on dialysis quit the program only to die weeks later.
But on that unforgettable November day, Froedtert Hospital called to say they had a kidney for him. He cried, called his wife, emailed his pastor, and within hours woke up with an anonymous donor's gift - a second chance at life.
Now 57, he uses that chance to give the same hope to others that got him over his vices and through his ordeals. He offers advice:"Go to the doctor..listen to the doctor..become an organ donor...have faith." Michael takes better care of himself and keeps the faith that he'll survive a still-uncertain future. Now he knows that sometimes, the person you need to give a chance is yourself.