(WJBF) - Meeting Colby Wren, there's one thing you need to know.
"Baseball is my love language, I have a ridiculous baseball IQ. Sorry dad. I love going to games, smelling the fresh cut grass, the little things."
Mentioning his dad, Frank. The reason the World Series trophy, stole the show away from the tree one Christmas. Frank VP'ed the Marlins, GM'ed the Braves and is now working with those Red Sox.
Colby and his twin starred in high school and D-1 ball at Georgia Tech. Baseball was life.
Until it started coming down to life or death.
"Throwing up blood. That was normal. Passing out, you're getting full body cramps. Waking up every with cramps every single day, Started having dark colored urine."
The symptoms manifested physically and mentally.
"I'd study 10 hours and could not recall anything."
Colby's mom meticulously documented his symptoms and sought out specialists.
"Neurologist, cardiologist, oncologists. You're just a pin cushion for years before they even figure out what's wrong."
Then finally a muscle biopsy revealing a rare diagnosis: Mitochondrial Disease.
"Blood work came back. Said do you want to be 45 in a wheel chair or do you want to be 45 and playing with your kids? I was like, there's an option?"
Hanging up his cleats, a clear, but cutting choice.
"I still remember the last time I stepped on a baseball field. I wish every day I didn't have mitochondrial disease to keep playing, but I like where I am now."
He remains remarkably resilient and optimistic, maintaining a job and marrying his high school sweetheart, as his twin doubles down and continues knocking it out of the park.
Colby says he's lucky.
"I don't necessarily have a ticking time bomb on my life, I don't think I'm going to die tomorrow, butknock on wood, I could. That's my baseball superstition. Most of those kids don't make it to 4th or 5th birthday. They don't get to experience life outside of a hospital bed."
Fueling Colby, even when his mitochondria fail to fuel his cells, to campaign with the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine, for a cure to this often called mystery disease.
After airing our first report, we actually heard from viewers who moved to Atlanta after experiencing the same symptoms and the same diagnosis -- including an entire family.
I will be sharing their story, as well.
And for more information on mitochondrial disease, you can click HERE.
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