I realized, recently, that I have this amazing platform available to me where kind, generous, loving, giving people from all over the world on visit on a regular basis. We all have causes that are so important to us. We long to heal the earth, feed the hungry, house the homeless, encourage the lonely and speak up for those who have no voice.
None of us can do it alone.
Once a week I will provide a forum for others to share the causes that are important to them, in the hopes of connecting like-minded members of “the tribe” so that we can work together in making the world a better place.
I hope that you are inspired and encouraged by the stories that are shared here. If you would like to write about something that is dear to your heart please contact me.
This week’s story is Ridge-a-Roo and the National Kidney Foundation
Ridge was born early. He faced all the challenges that preemies face and finally his family got to take him home. However, it wasn’t long before he stopped breathing and was rushed to the hospital where he would spend most of the next 3 years.
Doctors eventually determined that Ridge had Resessive Polycystic Kidney Disease. His kidneys had become so large that they were compressing his lungs and he couldn’t breathe. His body was retaining fluid. His prognosis was poor.
He underwent surgeries: So many surgeries. And so many complications. Each surgery and every round of powerful drugs had their own side effects and consequences. His kidney’s were both removed. One leg was partially amputated. His father was approved as a kidney donor… until further testing proved otherwise.
Eventually Ridge’s mother was able to give him one of her kidneys – the gift of life, given a 2nd time from a mom who would fight to the end for her son.
It was a miracle that Ridge was still alive but then he started getting better and better. He was able to be off the ventilator at times. He learned to crawl. He pulled himself up in his crib. He is learning to sign and to walk with his prosthetic leg.
Not long ago Ridge’s parents celebrated the fact that he got a regular old cold.
What’s to celebrate?
He got better again without the use of steroids or a panicky trip to the emergency room to deal with serious breathing issues.
His fourth birthday is just around the corner! So many wondered if he would even make it through that first year.
Ridge has a very long road ahead of him. He’s only recently received the gift of hearing through a cochlear implant. He is still intermittently on a ventilator. Nearly four years of drugs have been harsh on a preemie-born’s developing liver. He has never eaten real food – he is feed through a feeding tube.
But this kid is a fighter! He has defeated every odd. He has overcome so many obstacles. He has been an inspiration to countless people who have fallen in love with his chubby cheeks and big, bright eyes and indomitable spirit.
Through all of these trials the National Kidney Foundation was a massive help to Ridge and his family and care providers. They have become passionate supporters of NKF.
“The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk.” – From the NKF website
Ridge’s story has been so close to my heart. His grandma is my step-mother’s dear friend but, beyond that, I am a survivor of childhood kidney disease and I, too, was given a poor prognosis. I did not face nearly as many challenges as Ridge, but just like in Ridge’s story, my doctors were baffled and my parents and loved ones spent far too many hours helping me have a normal childhood despite many, many days in the hospital. Every fever was cause for panic. Telling my mom I was tired would cause a look of worry to shadow her face. Every milestone was a celebration and yet here I am, all grown up with children of my own and my kidneys have been just fine for a very long time now. Thanks be to God and those he provided to care for me!
If you would like to donate to NKF in Ridge’s honor, you can go to the Ridge-A-Roo NKF walk-a-thon page.
I understand that not everyone has extra money to give, but maybe you have some time to share. Volunteers are needed too. For more information about that you can click here.
If you would like more information about NKF, please visit their website.
For more on Ridge’s story, check out this great article that one of the local papers wrote about him and his mother and their journey together.
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!