SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Brian Grove has lived a life of service. He spent 10 years in active duty in Iraq, over eight years as an EMT, and 16 years as a law enforcement officer.
“I’ve always lived my life to better others,” Grove said.
But to keep living, he needs a hero of his own.
“He’s got a pacemaker and now he needs a kidney transplant,” Jody Grove, Brian’s wife said.
Two years ago, Grove collapsed at his job with the Secretary of State Police. He went to the hospital, and learned he was the latest in a long line of relatives to develop polycystic kidney disease.
“They thought it skipped mine, because it usually shows up in your 20s,” Brain Grove said. “I’m in my late 40’s”
Since passing out, his condition has only gotten worse. His wife, a Taylorville police officer – says she wakes up every day wondering if it’s his last.
“I have my days where i have to get away from the house just to release everything, because I don’t want him to see me crack,” Jody said. “Because seeing me crack will make him crack.”
Grove is on a waitlist for a new kidney. He needs a donor with an O negative blood type. Then they need to have several other markers match. He’s been told the wait will be 6-8 years.
“It sucks seeing him hurt, and it sucks seeing him in pain” Jody said. I want to take it away, and I can’t.”
Brian’s family spends any free moment spreading the word about organ donation — hoping they can find that angel donor for him.
“So if somebody is, you know, his blood type which is negative, and they match the markers with his, then he can get a kidney sooner, but if not, they can match with somebody else.”
But Brian has a much harder time doing the same.
“For me, I feel like it’s begging,” Grove said. “And I don’t want to do that.”
If you are interested in learning more about organ donation, go to the Gift of Hope website.