The Fighting Kidneys
Have you ever given any thought into why people miss their childhood so much? I feel that people reminisce about their childhood because of the careless and joyful experiences they had at the time. Many credit this with being one of the best times of their life for that simple, carefree, feeling.
Unfortunately, many children with Nephrotic Syndrome miss out on that essential experience. Instead they find themselves in a hospital, too sick to do anything. Nephrotic Syndrome is a disease where the body loses too much protein through the kidneys. When this happens, a person is then susceptible to infections, strokes, and other complications. I was diagnosed with this disease at 8 years old and at 15 I’m still fighting Nephrotic Syndrome. When I first got the disease, I was very sick, I spent several weeks in the hospital. I had to undergo a kidney biopsy, switch to a gluten and dairy free diet, and take several medications. While on medications, I took on 20 extra pounds of weight and swelled in my face, feet, and ankles. I was on medications for 18 months before going into remission. Despite all this, I was still able to live a fulfilled childhood.
Over the course of the last several years, I have luckily only had to be on medication a couple of times. Being on the medication weakens my bones along with the many other side effects. This past year unfortunately, I needed to take steroids again for a few months which led to weakened bones and while playing lacrosse, I broke both my wrists. Some may view this event negatively, as did I, but it also showed me something greater. It enlightened me on how lucky I really am. Broken bones eventually heal, but defective kidneys don’t. Some children diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome must have several surgeries and even a kidney transplant, spending holidays and birthdays in the hospital.
Just because I was fortunate enough to live a healthy and successful life so far with this disease, doesn’t mean I should abandon the idea of finding a cure. It is important to me to find a cure not only for myself, but for other children with Nephrotic Syndrome who have had more complications.
To raise money and awareness, I participate in runs and have developed my own team. I have run the 10k for the past 6 years and this will be my 7th year participating. My team The Fighting Kidneys, have raised over $55,000 over the past several years and plan to raise much more to donate to NephCure, an organization dedicated to raising awareness and finding a cure. You can get involved by joining my team and run the 5k or 10k at the Orange Classic/Rowley 5K on June 2, 2019, and/or you can donate on my web page. This is very important to me because with your help, together we can find a cure and put an end to Nephrotic Syndrome.
Register for the race here: classic10k.com/registration.html AND join my fundraising team above