Longtime WFISD teacher, coach and principal Dee Palmore manages kidney disease as he awaits transplant

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WICHITA FALLS (KFXD/KJTL) — Every single year, there are more than 200,000 new cases of polycystic kidney disease, but there’s no cure.

The inherited disorder greatly affects the kidney, with ultimately the only option being a transplant.

“Looking at me you’d think, oh yeah he’s doing great and for the most part I am but my bloodwork is not as good as my appearance is,” Dee Palmore said.

Something that Palmore, a former WFISD teacher, coach and principal lives with every day.

“I mean if there’s a test you had to take, I probably had to do that: stress tests, and EKGs and CT scan of my area to make sure a kidney would go there, the femoral artery is the right size and everything work,” Palmore said. “I have to do a monthly blood test to see where my markers are and I have to send that in each month so they know where I am on a monthly basis.”

A disease Palmore’s familiar with, losing his grandmother and mother to the disease, and now going through the transplant list process.

“You really see the impact when you start going through this process and all the different lives that have been affected by transplants and things. There’s some material that I had to go through at the transplant center, it’s very eye-opening to see what all’s going on out there,” Palmore said.

Jeff Ray and Dee go way back, about forty years ago when they were teammates on the MSU basketball team.

“We’ve been through a lot, we’ve been through some things obviously with his mom and that was a really tough thing to do,” Ray said.

Through it all, Ray said he never hears his friend complain during fishing trips, he just continues making the impact he always had on the city.

“I couldn’t even start, I mean you could literally, you could talk to people there would be hundreds of people he impacted in a positive way, and he’s still doing it. Just cause he’s retired from Rider being principal, he’s still doing it in many areas of his life and I think he’ll keep doing it for many many more years,” Ray said.

For now, Palmore knows there are more urgent cases ahead of him, but has hopes of getting selected before dialysis is needed.

And although there are some very strict requirements, that could be possible thanks to a living donor out there.

“It’s a very humbling experience to talk about that with people, that’s giving up a lot if you’re giving up a kidney when you’re still living and active,” Palmore said. “It takes a lot, it takes a lot for someone to do that.”

There’s no denying it takes a lot, but if you’re a match, for anyone not just Dee, you could save a life.

“I’m kind of like one of those high mileage cars, you know, they make look really good, but they got a lot of miles on them,” Palmore said.

Palmore emphasized the importance of knowing your family medical history can be so vital in catching things like this earlier so you can begin those treatments.

For looking into being a living donor, you can get in touch with transplant centers, find links below!

Integris Baptist Transplant Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Texas Health Kidney Transplant, Dallas, Texas.

UMPC Transplant Services

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