'He’s out here, with what he’s going through, I know I should get right’: Brooks Co. football coach faces battles on and off the field

Brooks Co. football coach faces battles on and off the field

BROOKS CO., Ga. (WALB) - One South Georgia man is fighting for his life every day, all while getting ready for football season.

Coach Marvin Mitchell is just one of thousands across the country waiting on an organ donor, with the hopes of a new chance at life.

“Being a living donor is the gift of life," said Mitchell.

A gift Mitchell has been waiting on for the past five years.

“I have a kidney disease called IgA nephropathy. I’m on peritoneal dialysis," said Mitchell.

Mitchell said that he has been undergoing more than nine hours of dialysis every night for the past year. A frustrating circumstance for many, but it’s one that Mitchell said isn’t going to get him down.

“I’m not frustrated at all. It’s in God’s hands and I know that he’ll do it in his perfect timing," said Mitchell.

An attitude those around him find infectious.

“He is our football team to be honest," said Nitavon Burrus, a Brooks County High School football player. “Sometimes, when I’m not feeling like I want to practice, I look at that man. I’m like, ‘he’s out here, with what he’s going through, I know I should get right.’ So, I get right and give my best.”

Brooks County High School football player Nitavon Burrus
Brooks County High School football player Nitavon Burrus (Source: WALB)

Burrus and even the other coaches said watching Mitchell come out with his complications means they have no excuse not to give it their all.

“He’s done so many things for this community. He’s very deserving and anywhere they can, they could doggone move him, I would sure appreciate it," said Head Coach Maurice Freeman.

Maurice Freeman, Brooks County head football coach
Maurice Freeman, Brooks County head football coach (Source: WALB)

With Type O blood, Mitchell said he’s had several people attempt to donate their kidneys but none of them have qualified. He shared that he thinks his best hope is a living donor.

In the meantime, he said he’s looking forward to the season.

“We got a great team, a great bunch of kids, great coaches. That’s kind of rejuvenated me and give me something to look forward to," said Mitchell.

Mitchell hopes his story will encourage others to share the gift of life. Anyone hoping to do so, can contact him through the school system or the National Kidney Foundation.

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