This is the first update of my blog in over a year so there is a lot to catch up on.
First, regarding Nicole...her kidney function has continued to decline over the past year. Her kidney function now sits at a GFR of around 16. Her latest labs show that many aspects of the delicate balance of the body are beginning to spiral out of control. Her blood pressure is extremely high for an 8 year old despite her medicine being increased up to the maximum levels permitted. She continues to struggle in school because focus is extremely difficult for her. However, she is progressing and we are thankful for what she has been able to accomplish. She is definitely a strong little girl.
Since my last blog post we have been able to obtain a donor for Nicole that has been approved by the transplant team at Rainbow Babies and Children. Wendy Killian, Nicole's kindergarten teacher last year from Mansfield Christian, stepped up late last spring and volunteered to be tested as a potential donor. After the initial blood work showing that she was a reasonable "match" for Nicole she began the testing procedure in early June of 2012. After completing the testing she was approved as the donor in early August of 2012. It is an amazing story and has been fully documented at the following link in the Mansfield News Journal.
Words cannot express how thankful we are for Wendy and the sacrifice she is making for Nicole.
We are expecting a call from the hospital at any time to schedule the transplant. Her kidney function reached these critically low levels 3 months and has remained there. Her nephrologist stated last month that if her levels remained at the present levels that the transplant would be scheduled. Her kidney function actually declined so we are fully expecting scheduling to occur. We were told that the transplant would most likely be scheduled 1 month out. If that is the case then we expect the transplant to occur sometime in April. If you feel led to please begin to pray with us for this procedure. It is certainly not without risk both to Nicole and Wendy!! But our faith remains in the Lord who has guided this entire process.
I am writing this immediately after returning from Mansfield Christian School where Letitia and I were interviewed by Fox 8 news out of Cleveland. Wendy and Nicole are also going to be interviewed. The News Journal story linked above was picked up by the Ohio News Network and has spread. Fox 8 wanted to run the story because it is such an amazing thing how a teacher is willing to give of herself for the good of one of her former kindergarten students. As I was driving to my office on this cloudy, rainy day in North Central Ohio I was overwhelmed with one simple truth. There is a lot of really bad news in the world. Right now as I am writing this blog the economy continues to struggle and many people are finding it very difficult to just get by. North Korea is threatening war in the Korean peninsula and preemptive nuclear strikes. Iran continues to threaten Israel as well as the stability of the entire Mid-East. Our government continues it's dysfunction over budget issues and the future of the entitlement programs. I could go on and on. However, what is fascinating to me is that Fox 8 out of Cleveland seems so excited to run this story because it is "good". And it is good!! In a selfish, greedy world someone is willing to give of themselves for the well-being of another. If that isn't good I don't know what is. If you can look through the fog of what is going on in the world it comes down to choices. We can each choose each day to be beacons of good and reflect the love of God in this world or we can be perpetuators of evil. We can choose to be selfless and help out others who have no chance of ever paying us back or we can be self-centered and look out just for ourselves. We can focus on the bad news that dominates the world around us or we can look to the future and focus on the good. I believe I would like to be someone that chooses all of these goods...how about you? It really is just a choice.
I will update this blog frequently through the transplant process and keep everyone informed. I will also be sure to provide links to the Fox 8 story once it is completed.
Thank you so much for your continued thoughts and prayers. It is a source of encouragement and hope for Nicole and our entire family.
For His Glory!!