GREEN TWP., Ohio (FOX19) - A Green Township police officer is in the fight of his life, and he needs a helping hand to win his biggest battle yet.
Officer Troy Biggs has been serving the Green Township community for more than a decade. He says he loves policing and protecting the people.
He was named “Officer of the Year” in 2019.
“It was nice, the department recognizing what I do, and to get that certificate meant a lot,” Biggs said.
Those closest to Biggs say he loves helping others. But now the tables have turned, as he is in need of help.
“I look at him, and it’s just really hard for me to know that he’s younger than I am, and he’s just already going through such a nightmare,” Biggs’s sister, Jennifer Lehmkuhl said.
Biggs explains he was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease about three years ago. It’s a genetic disease, which is why his sister has it too.
“Over time, it takes over your kidneys, and ultimately, your cysts grow, depleting the function of your kidney,” Biggs said.
Battling PKD has been an emotional roller coaster, especially for Biggs’s family. His mother died a few months ago after living with the disease for years.
“She was on dialysis for four years, close to five,” Biggs said. “She passed away in April, and it was probably due to the heart, because dialysis takes a toll on the heart.”
In recent weeks, Biggs says he learned that his own health is beginning to decline. Doctors told him he has reached a critical point in his care, and the need for a kidney donor is crucial.
“The hardest part that I’m dealing with is knowing that if someone does donate, what is it going to do their life? Their recovery’s a lot harder than mine, but for somebody to go through that and willing to do that means a lot,” Biggs said.
“It’s scary. It’s scary. I look at Troy, and I just wish that I could pick one up somewhere and give it to him,” Lehmkuhl said.
Despite the unknown, Biggs and his family are feeling hopeful, and they know anything is possible. A fellow Green Township first responder, a firefighter, received a kidney from his co-worker.
“The fire department definitely stepped up for that,” Biggs siad. “There was a lot of support for him, and I’m reaching out to hopefully get the same support.”
Biggs and his loved ones said they are hoping to find a donor, but they also want to raise awareness about PKD.
There is a fundraiser in the works, but no date has been set yet.