VIDEO: SDPD officer awaits new kidney

Posted at 5:52 PM, May 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 15:06:42-04

Art Calvert is a former professional baseball player who has been a San Diego police officer for more than two decades.

He is in the prime of his life, except his quality of life has taken a dramatic turn for the worse.

One of Calvert's kidneys shut down and he desperately needs a new one.

10News Anchor Itica Milanes talked to Calvert at his home while he underwent dialysis, and he told her: "I do this every single day."

Every day he settles in a big chair in his den and hooks up to his dialysis machine. The device has been his lifeline since one of his kidneys shut down.

"It was 1993, shortly after the police academy. I went for a jog and I couldn't really breathe," Calvert said.

Calvert was just 30 and had wrapped up a six-year career as a professional baseball player. He thought he was healthy, but doctors told him he had kidney failure and needed a transplant.

His mother donated one of hers. Nearly 15 years later, he needed another one. This time, his sister stepped up. Six years later, his body annihilated that one, too.

"It's a little fearful. I've never been sick this long," he said.

The waiting list for a kidney donation is three to five years. Calvert is now on year two.

"I'm … I'm not losing faith, but it's just hard," he said.

But he plows forward every day for his daughters Aiden and Lia.

"I want to be there for them and laugh and play and see them grow and see their grandchildren," he told 10News.

He's also looking forward to getting back to work as a San Diego police officer. He serves on Mayor Kevin Faulconer's personal security detail. It is the fourth San Diego mayor he has protected.

The biggest honor for Calvert?

"Mayor Faulconer left the seat open for me so if I get back to health and make it back then I get to get back to my position," Calvert said.

For now, he waits for that kidney donation. In his den, during his dialysis sessions, Calvert is surrounded by memories of his baseball career. On the wall, there are posters, pictures and baseball jerseys of his friends, including his best friend, Tony Gwynn.

"He was at both my transplants," said Calvert.

Calvert has one more mission: "I want awareness."

He has the help of a local celebrity, Chopper the Biker Dog, and both are spreading the word about the importance of organ donations.

Calvert said, "I want a kidney, if not for me for other people so people can see what I'm going through and maybe someone will donate not just to me but maybe to other people."

If you would like to help Calvert, we have a link to his website,