LIMA — Joe Miles, long-time television cameraman, is asking the Lima community to help him find a kidney.
Miles, who is currently on dialysis since his kidney failed due to diabetes, has dealt with the issue for two years, but after some prompting from Lima Mayor David Berger, Miles said he decided to make his attempts at finding a donor a more public affair.
Miles is a relatively well-known figure throughout the community as one of WLIO’s former camera operators. He has worked in the field behind the camera for the last 32 years covering newsworthy press events and sports during his tenure, but due to his need for a kidney, Miles has since relinquished that role and looked to the donor list to get him back up to par.
“When I was first diagnosed two years ago, I didn’t know how I was going to survive without a kidney,” Miles said. “Then I got to thinking, maybe.”
But being on the donor list is not a guaranteed option as more than 95,500 candidates wait for a kidney transplant. Miles secondary option is to find a living donor.
Berger said the city has already helped to find a kidney among city employees. Berger laid out an earlier experience when a city employee finally agreed to send out an email to the larger staff, which prompted a suitable donor to offer an organ three minutes after the effort began.
“It is really an important topic that we should share,” Berger said. “It’s about saving lives and doing that with our own bodies.”
As for the mayor’s efforts to help Miles, Berger said he has already tested to see if he could be a kidney donor, but because he was not a suitable match, he said he “flunked” the test.
Miles’ kidney specialist, Dr. Norman Moser, said kidney operations with live donors have much better success for those receiving the organ. Kidney transplants also help increase the quality of life of those who rely on dialysis by removing the need for the weekly medical treatment altogether and raising a person’s overall energy.
“Giving the person the gift of transplant gives them the gift of freedom,” Moser said.
This isn’t the first time Miles has been involved in looking for a kidney transplant. His wife, Julia, had received a transplant prior to needing dialysis 12-years-ago from her sister.
Those interested in learning more about potentially being a kidney donor can contact Miles at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those looking for more information are encouraged to visit wexnermedical.osu.edu/kidneydonor.
“It’s just been a journey,” Miles said. “And I hope to finish that journey.”
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.