Help Coach Wozgen get a Kidney!


Coach Wozgen's car with contact info for kidney. Credit: Marjorie Hsu

Marjorie Hsu

Centennial’s staff member Coach Wesley Wozgen needs a kidney, and he is reaching out to those in the community who could spread the word. People have helped communicate the news through a Facebook page called Woz Needs Kidney and reposting information through other social media. 

Wozgen found out last December that he needed a kidney after being diagnosed with stage five kidney disease. He said it started with feeling pretty tired and having a bad headache. Then, he went to the hospital and found out his blood pressure and creatinine levels were abnormal. A healthy range for blood pressure is a systolic number below 120 and he was in the two hundreds. For creatinine, the normal range for an adult male is .6 to 1.2 and he was at a 12. He said, “Twelve means you are in a very severe stage for kidney disease. And, it was a shock to me because I didn’t really feel like I had anything wrong with me,” he said.

This led him to do a daily medical procedure called dialysis. This is when a machine filters the person’s blood of chemical waste such as creatinine, salt, excess water, and more. There are two types called hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis (PD)―which is the one Wozgen does at home. He added, “I have to do it every night for nine hours,” and that he does PD so he could go to work. 

Wozgen said that doing hemodialysis can take a toll on one’s body. “If you go to a clinic and do hemo, they put these tubes in your arm. And, you have to sit on this big machine, as big as that (white) board for four hours, where they just take the blood out of you and clean it and put it back in. Nobody can function after that,” he said. This is also because kidney disease makes the individual feel drained. From this, Wozgen added, “I’m still really tired, but nowhere as close to what I would have to do if I had those things in my arm.” 

Wozgen said that other can help by “getting information out there because the doctor told me that the only way to survive these things is to get a living donor. Which means if somebody finds out that they’re a match for me because a healthy person can live with one kidney. All I need is one person to go and get tested and find out. Otherwise, people die on the waiting list because the waiting list in Atlanta is almost ten years.” Wozgen has A-positive  blood, and the other compatible blood types would be A-positive, A-negative, O-positive, and O-negative.

Car decal with info for Coach Wozgen’s kidney group!
Credit: Marjorie Hsu

Wozgen has a Facebook page called Woz Needs Kidney, where people can help by sharing the post. It may not seem like a lot, but every reshare counts because Wozgen has a higher chance in finding a donor. People can also take a screenshot and repost in other social medias to help. A few of his friends—Melinda Jones, her husband, and former Centennial teacher Yonette Harris—have come together to help set this group page and post information on Wozgen’s car. 

Throughout his journey, Wozgen said, “The blessing is to still be alive. The challenge is doing this by myself, because my whole life changed in an instant.”