Meet Kidney Walk Ambassador KeannaKeanna

In 2013, Keanna, a bright six-year-old girl from London, Ontario, received a diagnosis that shook her entire family. Her family was shocked to hear Keanna had a rare form of nephrotic syndrome called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerorisis (FSGS). Nephrotic syndrome affects only 2-4 children out of 100,000 a year. Of those children, only 15-20% have FSGS. The rare disease scars the glomeruli, the part of the kidney that filters blood.

Keanna takes over 20 different types of medicine a day and often has to travel to the hospital with her family. In March, 2015, Keanna’s illness had progressed to end-stage-renal disease and she began at-home peritoneal dialysis. Keanna was often frustrated by the beeping her dialysis machine made while she tried to sleep.

Sara, Keanna’s mother, says “it is challenging living with a child who has a mystery disease. The most challenging part, is learning that this is the new normal.”

While learning to adapt to Keanna’s disease, her family reached out through social media and local news outlets to their local community for support and, hopefully, to find a kidney donor.
In June, 2015, a woman the family had never met before messaged them-she wanted to donate her kidney to help Keanna. After many trips into Toronto to the Hospital for Sick Children, including two operations to remove both of her kidneys, Keanna prepared for the surgery her family had dreamed of.

On March 3, 2016, at SickKids, Keanna received her gift of life. After many complications following the 13 hour operation, the family was told that Keanna’s beautiful new kidney was not functioning. Keanna, her medical team and her family have not given up though, and they hope that the kidney will pull through.

Now nine-years-old, Keanna is receiving in-clinic hemo-dialysis every other day. Keanna, however, does not let her disease or her treatments get in the way of being a kid. Keanna loves panda bears, dancing, skiing and, in spite of the difficulties, she enjoys travelling to Disney World with her family.

Keanna and her family are excited to participate as Walk Ambassadors for this year’s Kidney Walk in London to let others know “you can still be a family while dealing with this disease,” and they urge others to come out and support The Kidney Foundation through the Walks.

 

Join the Kidney Walk.



 

Ontario Branch - 1599 Hurontario Street, Suite 201, Mississauga, ON L5G 4S1 - Tel.: (905) 278-3003 / 1-800-387-4474
Charitable Registration Number: 107567398RR0001