Raleigh County

Woodrow Wilson baseball player hopes to strike out kidney failure

MOUNT HOPE, WV (WVNS) - Woodrow Wilson High School junior Alex Shiflett has been playing baseball since he was a child.  With versatile experience on the mound and at third base, he knows a thing or two about heart and hustle.

"I've been playing nonstop," Shiflett said. "If I was hurt, I wouldn't tell nobody. I'd play through it. I'd play with broken bones, broken fingers, torn shoulders and everything."

However, a life-long condition has now truly put him to the test.

As of October 10, 2018, Shiflett was diagnosed with stage 5 kidney failure, putting his hopes of furthering his career in jeopardy.

"They said that I wouldn't be able to play fall ball this year as much, and that really hit me hard," Shiflett said. "Not being able to play took a real big toll on me."

Alex's father, James Shiflett, has combat experience in the U.S. Army, but that did not prepare him for this battle.

"It's been real emotional," James said. "I can't stand to sit there... look at his face and see the hurt, the pain that he's in."

While hoping for a miracle transplant, the whole family encourages their neighbors to register as organ donors, so patients, like Alex, do not have to play an unbearable waiting game.

"You're saving somebody else's life," James said. "It can be your neighbor's kid that needs it, or maybe somebody else in your family."

"If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't," Alex said. "Either way, I'm going to try my hardest, no matter what."

To register as an organ donor in West Virginia, visit the Donate Life website, sign up at organize.org, or visit any West Virginia DMV when renewing a driver's license or ID card.

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