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Penn-Harris-Madison student battling kidney failure looking for a new donor
South Bend Tribune - 1/28/2020
Jan. 28--OSCEOLA -- Alex Deranek, an 11-year-old Penn-Harris-Madison student battling Stage 5 Chronic Kidney Disease, is now on the hunt for a perfect match after unexpected news came that his father is no longer a viable donor.
In November, Gregory Deranek, was preparing to undergo testing to see if he was a match.
Now, Alex has officially been placed on the transplant lists. He joins more than 100,000 people across the U.S. waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
"Unfortunately, we are starting the transplant process over," said Amber Deranek, Alex's mom. "He has end stage renal disease and has been on dialysis every day for almost five months already. It has been a hard and emotional time for all of our family, but I am in awe of his amazing spirit, personality and strength."
On March 27, 2018, Alex was diagnosed with Stage 4 Kidney Disease, along with other serious medical conditions. Last year, the disease progressed to Stage 5 and his kidneys have deteriorated at a rapid rate. His organs function at around 20% of their capacity.
Dr. Neha Pottanat, Alex's pediatric nephrologist at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, said Alex was born with an enlarged bladder and abnormal (or congenital) kidneys that didn't form right in the womb and didn't develop properly as he grew. As a result, his kidneys swell from a build-up of urine. The excess waste in his body can't drain out from the kidney to the bladder because of a blockage, which causes damage and extreme pain.
"Despite our best efforts to try and get the bladder to empty normally with surgeries, we were not able to improve kidney function," Pottanat said for a previous Tribune report, "and Alex now needs dialysis to take over the job."
Alex undergoes eight cycles of dialysis nightly.
Amber said her son's condition has continued to worsen. Last month he was experiencing a lot of pain and doctors found that his catheter tube inside his stomach had shifted because of another medical issue.
"(This) could make dialysis stop working at any moment," Amber said. "We are very thankful we haven't had any problems so far, but it would require an immediate surgery to fix it, if that does happen."
The Deranek family is now desperately looking for a new kidney for Alex.
Anyone with an O+ blood type between the ages of 18-60 and willing to go through the testing process to be a kidney donor for Alex is asked to contact Amber at email@example.com.
A donation page has been created on Facebook by Alex's aunt, Kelly Nelson, to help raise funds for the family. The money will be used to help pay for upcoming surgeries, medical bills and gas that's needed to make trips to and from the hospital in Indianapolis.
"If anyone deserves a little help, it is my sister's family," Nelson wrote on the fundraiser page. "Please help Amber and Gregg to save their son Alex so Ben will still have a big brother growing up."
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