Baseball player, 17, waits on kidney, gets surprise at WVU
By JESSICA FARRISH, The Register-Herald
MT HOPE, W.Va. (AP) — Alex Shiflett, 17, got a hero’s welcome at Hometown Subaru.
As Woodrow Wilson High School Flying Eagles’ marching band played and Shiflett’s baseball teammates watched, Shiflett got the news that he will have a first-class experience at two West Virginia University games in Morgantown.
He’ll be taking his family and his nephrologist, Dr. Rose Ayoob, with him to the games — a basketball game and a football game, complete with in-field passes.
Alex, a WWHS baseball player, is waiting on a kidney. He’s hoping to find a match. While he waits on a match for his A-positive blood type, he will get to look forward to the WVU games, which is made possible by Make-a-Wish Foundation of West Virginia.
In West Virginia, Hometown Subaru donated more in 2018 to Make-a-Wish than any other Subaru dealership in the state, according to a Make-a-Wish representative.
“I knew the Make-a-Wish had something going on, but I didn’t know it was going to be this extravagant,” said Alex’s dad, James R. Shiflett of Beckley, moments after former WVU running back Quincy Wilson handed the itinerary to Alex, along with WVU gear, inside the Midtown showroom. “I didn’t know his baseball team was going to be here, or the band.
“He needed this,” said Shiflett, tearing up. “He needed it. It’s been rough on him.”
Shiflett said that Alex’s baseball teammates, along with friends from Independence High School, have challenged him and pushed him and have encouraged him as he battles kidney disease, which he has fought for his entire life. Alex has never had a normal teen experience, Shiflett told reporters, but he’s a fighter.
Even the toughest guys need a break once in awhile, though, and Alex said moments like the one at Subaru on Monday make all the difference.
“This is what gets me through it — everybody’s help and inspiration,” Alex said of the Make-a-Wish gala. “It’s, literally, what makes me drive to get through it.”
He added that the presentation was a surprise.
“I just thought it was some kind of promotion for Subaru or something,” he reported.
He is taking Dr. Ayoob, a graduate of the West Virginia University School of Medicine who now practices in Charleston, with him. Shiflett said Ayoob has been on Alex’s side in his fight, encouraging and challenging him.
Lisa Ingles, Shiflett’s fiancé, said she wanted to take the opportunity to ask potential donors with A-positive blood to contact the Living Donor Team at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Potential donors may remain anonymous and be tested for a match. They may direct questions, regarding Alex Shiflett, at 614-293-6724 or by calling 800-293-8965 and selecting option 3.
The donor’s insurance would not be billed for the procedure.
Information from: The Register-Herald, http://www.register-herald.com