BRIGHTON — A Brighton police officer with nearly 30 years of experience would like to continue serving the community but will need a little help to do so.
Sgt. Scott Wegscheider, 50, has polycystic kidney disease that recently progressed to the point of requiring a kidney transplant.
A lifelong resident of Adams County, Wegscheider has served on the Brighton Police Department for the last 14 years and spent 15 years at the Northglenn Police Department before that. He is assigned as a school resource officer program and is a member of the command staff. Additionally, he is also involved in the animal control program, code enforcement and departmental training.
“I have no desire to quit. It’s been 30 years, but I’m good for a few more, I think,” he said.
Wegscheider describes PKD as a slow-moving disease where kidney function drops off as it progresses and, eventually, stops. Fluid-filled pouches called cysts form on the kidneys, inhibiting their ability to filter blood. It is the most common life-threatening genetic disease, according to the PKD Foundation.
Wegscheider was diagnosed with PKD in his twenties. His father also had the disease and his brother is undergoing dialysis for it, a procedure where an automated machine is used to filter the blood.
Wegscheider said his kidney function has been on a steady decline since the diagnosis. His doctors believe his kidneys are currently functioning at 10 percent or less.
Because there is no cure for PKD, patients have the option of receiving a transplant or going onto dialysis, which he said is required three times a week and takes about four hours to complete.
“The goal is, if someone decides or if someone feels they can step forward and do that or have a desire to do that, to identify that person so when the time comes that I have to have that done… they can plan it and have it done as opposed to rushing at the last minute or go on dialysis, which is the other option,” he said.
Wegscheider is hoping to find a living door because a cadaver transplant has a life expectancy of about 15 years and dialysis doesn’t really fit into his career as a police officer.
“It would be huge,” he said of the prospect of finding a live donor. “I wouldn’t know what to say to them other than ‘thank you,’ but to stay away from what I watched my dad go through and my brother go through, I’d be grateful.”
Potential donors need to be healthy, between the ages of 18 and 70 and have a compatible blood type, which Wegscheider said is any type of A or type O. Those interested in determining if they are a match can do so by calling Kathryn O’Dea, transplant and donor coordinator at Presbyterian/St. Lukes Medical Center, at 720-754-2164.
Contact Crystal Nelson at
303-659-2522, ext. 223 or email email@example.com.