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Waveland mayor carries out his duties despite needing a kidney transplant

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 7:04 PM CDT
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WAVELAND, Miss. (WLOX) - Mayor Mike Smith is having trouble with his only working kidney.

It comes after a transplant saved his life several years ago.

In fact, Smith now needs a second kidney transplant, but he wants people to know that his health problems won’t slow him down for long.

Waveland Mayor Mike Smith loves the city of Waveland, where he has served the public for nearly four decades. The mayor said he’ll do whatever it takes to keep moving forward, despite his continuing battle with kidney disease.

“I love to help people,” Smith said. “That was God’s plan for me, to help people.”

After spending 28 years with the fire department, four years as chief, and now almost eight years as mayor, public service is in his heart. He hopes to continue his work in a third term and to carry on with development projects in the works for Coleman Avenue, a marina, and much more.

“A lot of exciting things going on and I’d like to be a part of it. It’s all going to kick off this year but really won’t get started until next year,” he said.

In order to keep moving forward with his plans, he said he’ll need another kidney transplant within the next few months.

“I’m going to make it through this. It’s no different than it was seven years ago,” he said.

It was seven years ago when he had his first kidney transplant. MSmith suffers from an inherited disease called polycystic kidney disease.

“At this point, I’m at stage five, so it’s either dialysis or transplant,” he said.

Smith received his first kidney transplant in September 2015 after receiving a donated kidney from his sister.

Unfortunately, over time, the kidney reacted negatively to the anti-rejection medication that was supposed to help him. He ended up with tacrolimus toxicity.

“She is an incredible person to give me her kidney, and I really hate the fact that the anti-rejection medicine destroyed that kidney,” Smith said.

Once again, he’s relying on the generosity of others to help him through his latest kidney failure, with various friends and family members volunteering to be tested as possible donors.

“I have a backup plan. I feel blessed because not everyone does,” Smith said.

While he waits for a second transplant, he wants the city of Waveland to know he’s still able to carry out his duties as mayor, and after the transplant, it will be full speed ahead as he works toward re-election.

“So far, nothing I haven’t been able to get past,” Smith said.

Smith said he’s confident he’ll get past this too, though no date has been set yet for the transplant. He is still waiting for the approval process, after which volunteers will be tested to determine the best match this time around.

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