Maurice’s Story

Site created on July 7, 2018

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Maurice Reynolds

Hello world... this goes out to family members , friends and co-workers . I would love to share my untold story of my Journey through the trails of being a kidney patient. I’ve been on dialysis treatments since 1996. I was 22 years of age when I Loss both of my kidneys. It was shocking at the time as you can imagine. Being an active young man that participated in organize sports. Which includes football,basketball, & along with many other childhood sports and activities. Football was my favorite. I started all four years on the Defensive line for foreman high school on the north side of Chicago. I also was active in local Park activities. So I Consider myself an athlete of all sorts. Afer receiving my G.E.D , working with the counselors at Ada S. McKinley, on the southside of Chicago, I was accepted and attended Talledega College . (located in Talledega Alabama) unfortunately they did not have a football team at the time, I then participated on joining the track team at TalIledega College and developed a liking for the shotput distance throwing. Moving forward, after completing a few semesters, I returned back home to the west side of Chicago. After returning home, I started going down the wrong path. In the mid 1990’s, I was introduced to drug trafficking and was Influenced on making fast money by selling crack cocaine . I quickly found out that living a fast life would lead you down a destructive path. For most unfortunately and ronutinely it ends with death or jail. By the grace of God, assisted by my praying grandma and mother (Annie B Harris , Marie Jennings) I ended up in jail and not in someone’s morge . I was sentenced to 4 yrs for a charge of possession with the Intent to deliver of over #400 dime bags of rock cocaine. I was blessed to have my mother locate an experience lawyer. I quickly learned once your in trouble, the friends you once had in the streets are not their for your support anymore. This also was a very stressful time in my life as you can Imagining. Being the age of 21 and not really understanding life choices along with the consequences that’s involved. During the time I was imprisoned, servings 18 months on a four year sentence, I went into jail a healthy young man with many dreams and aspirations to get out and live my life and learning from my mistakes. Experiencing not only the stress of not returning to college and completing my goal of  receiving a professional degree from Talledega College, but also the guilt of me once again, disappointing my family and close friends and most notably myself. It really took a toll on me mentally. The stress lead to despair and from that I begin having headaches on a daily basis. Unfortunately when your incarcerated, your not giving the best medical treatment or attention so found myself taking pain medicine (ibuprofen) everyday, not knowing it was high blood pressure that was giving me headaches. After many complaints to officers at the penitentiary, they eventually sent me to a out side hospital (University of Kentucky Louisville Hospital). I was able to be seen by a pain specialist. After being admitted and examined for a few days, I was informed that I had complete kidney failure in both organs. I was only 3 months away from being release and I was forced to start dialysis in jail for those remaining months. I was now 22 at this time and unaware of kidney failure and dialysis treatments. Moving forward I was Eventually released in 1996, being 22 years old and a dialysis patient. My mother (Marie Jennings) being a registered nurse(RN), had all my treatment plans set up and ready to go at Rush presbyterian hospital . Once released in 1996 coming home with this new challenge, I thank God that my mother and the support she give me though these years. She is now retired and also dealing with being on dialysis treatments along with heart issues. I’m blessed to still have her in my life. Shortly after my release, following my promise to myself to never return the a fast street life, I quickly landed my first real job working in the sales department at Footlocker located on the west side of Chicago, not to far from the corner I used to hustle on. Working full time plus going to treatments 3 times a week , Monday , Wednesday and Fridays, at 5am and working at Footlocker for a little over a year, I was promoted to Assistant Manager . Then it was in 1999 April at the age of 25, I was blessed to have a childhood friend by the name of (Tony Ward) to take the kidney test for me at Rush hospital and yes he was match. Soon after he was tested, we had the surgery at Rush hospital in year of 1999 and it was %100 Successful. That blessing I received from Tony took me off of daily dialysis treatments it also give me life and a energy that I can’t put into words, a freedom that can’t be explained , but I will try. I was born again, not being too dramatic, but I went from feeling like I wasn’t living and being attached to a machine three times a week for four hours just to live. For example dailysis patients do not urinate, all fluids are removed by the machine during treatments. Most kidney patients are not sexually active, because of the energy level thats decreased from treatments also not having the ability to have children. Most patents don’t work full time because treatments are very drainfull and time consuming. After my transplant, it took two weeks to completely heal and Tony was released from Rush the next day after donating. I went back to work full time at Footlocker and also had the energy to get back into the gym and picked up a regiment that included some cardio and weightlifting. I was alive again!!! Sadly, a transplant doesn’t last forever, it’s up to the our God on how long it will last. A doctor once told me (“ A Transplant is not a cure it’s just a form of treatment”). After 7 years my transplanted kidney sadly ended in the year of 2006. I’ve been back on dialysis since 2006 going three times a week for four hours treatments that start a 5am. So it’s been 12 years of treatments and being on not only Rush Presbyterian hospital kidney list, but a total of five lists throughout the country which institutions includes “(Cleveland clinic) in Cleveland Ohio, (John Hopkins) in Baltimore, (University of Madison in Wisconsin) and (Mayo clinic) located in Minnesota . Also I’m now working in marketing / sales at Wyndham Vacations here in Chicago and I’m also an License leasing agent for Christie’s Interrnational Real Estate group, I also had the opportunity to have my complete background expunged and sealed by working with Dorothy Brown office the (Clerk of the Circuit Court). My hopes in shareing my story is for someone to find in their heart to possibly give me life again or have information that can help me with my search. I am still on my journey and I will not give up. I appreciate your time and the time you took to read this short story, I can only ask if you can share my testimony so I can aspire others that’s going through a similar journey , Thanks 🙏🏿
Patients and caregivers love hearing from you; add a comment to show your support.

Comments Hide comments

Help Maurice Stay Connected to Family and Friends

A $30 donation to CaringBridge powers Maurice's site for one month. Will you make a gift to help ensure that this site stays online for them and for you?

Show Your Support

See the Ways to Help page to get even more involved.