Friday, March 30, 2012

Kidney For Caleb

Me at the Beach

Welcome to Kidney for Caleb. As you might have guessed, this website is all about me, Caleb. I am now 10 years old and I was born in 2001. I enjoy comic books and sports and I love to write, especially about my struggles.

My Mom and I Before the Transplant
Ever since I was born, I have been struggling with two conditions, Cerebral Palsy and Prune Belly Syndrome.  As a result of the Prune Belly Syndrome, I was born in kidney failure.  I was on peritoneal  dialysis for two years, before my mom donated her kidney to me in March of 2004.  To the right is a picture of us the night before my transplant at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  My donated kidney lasted until March of 2011 after kidney rejecting antibodies began developing in my body.

I started dialysis at Children's National Medical Center (in DC) in April of 2011.  I go to dialysis three days a week.  And now we need to find a compatible (O blood type) kidney for me. Thank you so much to all that have tested already. Many of my family members and friends who are O blood type have tested; however, they have antigens that I have a sensitivity to.  What that means is that my antibodies will cause me to reject their kidneys because I have a sensitivity to them.  I am considered a highly sensitized patient.  And from what my parents have learned, I could go years on dialysis before I have a compatible kidney.

So the more people that volunteer to be tested the better chances I have of finding a kidney soon.  All it takes is a simple blood test.  They will confirm that you are O blood type and then they will check for the antigens to which I am sensitive.

I understand that it takes tons of courage to volunteer to donate such a vital organ.  But you can ask my mom, you only need one kidney.  She is doing just fine with her one kidney.  Your two kidneys together provide 100% of the kidney function that your body needs.  However, when someone who has two healthy kidneys donates one, the other kidney provides the 100% function that you need.  Isn't it awesome that our bodies are created to be able to provide such a miracle to help others.

Me in My Halloween Costume
I am hopeful and prayerful that my kidney will come soon.  I thank God everyday for the new kidney that he is preparing for me.  It is hard to stay positive all of the time but I try.  My parents tell me to focus on the positive things in my life and not to be consumed with waiting for my kidney.  I know that makes sense but I don't think they realize how hard this is.

Okay that is enough from me.  If you have any questions or are at least willing to get tested please feel free to call:

Calin Fitzpatrick
Transplant Coordinator
Georgetown University Hospital

Joann Palmer
Transplant Coordinator
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Renee Shumate
Transplant Coordinator
Johns Hopkins Hospital

Me and My Dad

I am registered at different hospitals to increase my chances of finding the right kidney for me.

We really hope we find a kidney for me soon.