Today I am introducing a guest writer to my blog, and a very good friend, Mary Ehlert. Mary is a resident of Portland OR, and we have known each other for a very long time. Mary and I are getting involved in fundraising for the child of another good friend of ours. His name is Harrison. Harrison was born just three years ago and he has a very rare kidney disease that was going to kill him unless he received a transplant. That transplant has now come to fruition and is all set up for November 8th, just a few weeks from now. To get this stage has been a physical and logistical nightmare for all involved, and the cost, as you can imagine, has been incredibly steep, not only from a financial standpoint, but from the effort involved in making it happen, the testing, the ability to find the right doctor and hospital and the toll it has taken on not only his parent’s life, but on Harrison himself, who, bless him, has been a complete trooper thus far.
I’ll let Mary take over from here and I will rejoin the blog at the end.
Hi Everyone, I am Mary, and I’ve known Harrison since he was born. Below is a brief description on both Harrison and his condition. Harrison and his parents need your help. Alan will tell you more at the end of this article on how we plan to raise the money required to keep Harrison alive. In the meantime, enjoy my brief description of the most wonderful child.
“Cartoons on You Tube are the best! And ‘Shake It Off, Shake It Off’ is THE BEST song.” Name a video parody of a top ten hit and Harrison has found it on the interwebs…
Harrison is a rambunctious three-year-old and a tremendous source of pride and happiness for his parents, Travis and Rory.
He has all this energy with only one kidney functioning at 10% of full capacity: only one kidney and it’s teeny, tiny.
“My project’s at school. I’m in the big classroom”, he says crashing trucks, demolishing the clean kitchen. Grayson is his best friend. “He pushes me. I push back. Collin is my new best friend.” says H (as we call him).
I think that this last phrase sums up Harrison’s gentle, but fighting spirit!
Harrison’s mom and dad knew from their 20-week pre-natal check up that H had bronchial auto renal disorder (that’s doctor talk for a very small kidney).
Before his birth on August 20th, 2012 all the specialists shared worst-case scenarios with Rory and Travis: every horrible, scary complication that can occur with kidney disease. There were dozens. Doctors weren’t even sure that H would make it to delivery. Rory and Travis were left wondering if they would ever share a smile or a cuddle with their first baby.
Harrison needs a new kidney. He needs it soon. His kidney function has diminished significantly and this finally qualifies him for a transplant.
Harrison’s parents are each a match to donate a kidney to him. Rory’s superior powers of persuasion and tenacity (you won’t win an argument with her, but good on you for trying, Travis!) mean that in only a few weeks, she will undergo surgery to donate her right kidney to be transplanted into their son.
For the rest of his life, H will have to take a daily regimen of anti-rejection medications.
H has had to undergo painful daily growth hormone shots for more than a year in order to grow large enough for the surgery. Why? H’s abdomen has to be big enough to accommodate his surgeon’s entire hand while he gently places the new kidney.
This will be H’s third surgery.
He has already had brain surgery to reduce an accumulation of fluids and surgery on his neck to close open ‘pits’.
H is brave.
H is gentle.
H is resilient.
H is patient.
H has gorgeous blue eyes and eyelashes that are so long, dark and thick.
H calls me ‘my Mary’
And all of us who love him can’t wait to see him healthy and tearing up a kitchen, a playground, a pool near you soon…
To find the surgeon, the hospital and the money to make all of this happen, took over a year. We have made pins, just like the picture below, that cost $100 each, and which enter each and every one of you who purchase one into a raffle draw to win some incredible prizes which have been donated by some very worthy donors. The family have also set up a link to a donor page at the Child Organ Transplant Association, and I will post that link at the very end. The cost to keep this 3-year-old alive is over $300,000 and insurance will pay for less than half. The family have spent their life savings to keep Harrison alive and now need your help. It’s not very often, if ever, that I will write a blog asking my readership for their help, but I feel deeply for the plight of a child I have grown to adore. If you have any questions or comments, or you would like to purchase a golden pin, please feel free to leave a comment on this blog and I will do my best to assist. Thanks for reading and thanks again for your support. Everyone involved appreciates it!