Maya's kidney transplant journey.
January 30, 2023
Maya had her life-saving kidney transplant at Boston Children's Hospital on December 8, 2022. She was in the hospital for eight days.
The family returned home from Boston on January 21, 2023. Maya is doing very well. She continues to have a lot of doctor’s appointments. Once a week in Boston, MA, and once a week in Albany, NY. Maya’s appointments will continue like this for the next three months, then once a week, then every other week for the first year. She is a trouper. At each appointment, there is quite a bit of blood drawn for testing. She handles it like a champ, even joking with the phlebotomists!
Maya returned to school. Seven weeks after her surgery. Jim and Tony are excited and nervous to send her back. The first year of a transplant recipient’s life is challenging. Flu, RSV season and Covid is still with us. All dangerous for Maya. She will be masked everywhere she goes and keep exposure to large crowds to a minimum. She is on daily anti-rejection medicine, which she is tolerating extremely well. She is drinking 80-100 ounces of fluids a day to keep her kidney hydrated.
Maya's kidney donor, a close family member, is doing very well. She left the hospital the day after the transplant. She is feeling much better and is back to work.
We started this campaign to help the Charles-Rivera family. The response has been and continues to be incredible. Navigating a chronic disease can be challenging on every level for everyone in the family. The financial commitment a chronic disease places on a family is tremendous. High co-pays continue for specialists, deductibles, travel, overnight stays, etc...
Numerous people have sent emails asking us to continue this campaign. They would like to make a 2023 tax-deductible donation. They would like to share Maya's story while continuing to follow her journey through GoFundMe updates.
With your help, we will continue this campaign throughout 2023, and celebrate Maya, the brave young lady she is!
Original post - September 2022
Maya is your typical ten-year-old little girl. She loves her dance classes, playing soccer, and watching Disney movies with her family. She will be going into fifth grade in September 2022.
Over Memorial Day weekend, just a few months ago, Maya was not feeling well and was hospitalized for what her parents, Jim and Tony, thought was dehydration. During her four days in the hospital, numerous tests were done. It was discovered Maya has Stage 4 kidney disease. She will need a kidney transplant soon. Once the shock wore off, they hit the ground running. Weekly appointments with nephrologist and bloodwork. Boston Children’s Hospital meetings are set with the dialysis and transplant teams from August 29-31.
As friends of the family for many years, we have started a GoFundMe campaign to help them. A family's financial responsibility is debilitating when diagnosed with a chronic disease. Their life has forever changed. The family may need to relocate to the Boston area for extensive care following the transplant.
This campaign is our opportunity to rally around the Charles-Rivera family. They will need help with travel expenses, lodging, and possibly relocating to the Boston area shortly. When the transplant happens, there will be months of financial uncertainty.
Anything you can offer our campaign is greatly appreciated. Your donation is tax-deductible. If you prefer, your gift can be anonymous by choosing that option when checking out.
It takes a village to raise a child.
It takes an army of us to help them navigate a chronic disease.
“Jim’s heart is joyfully tethered to children, all children. Most lovingly now, Maya and Mateo. Maya needs whatever help we’re able to give. If it is a prayer you can give, let it be a prayer. If it is words of support and healing energy you can give, let it be words. But, if you have even a small amount left in your pocket to give, might you let it be that too? It would mean so much to me if we could help my “old” friend Jim. His heart has always recognized the gifts of joy, beauty and love children bring to this world. I’m hoping now, we as his world….in support of Maya, will gift him back.”
– Susan DiFabbio
“Maya is part of our family. I remember the day I held her as a tiny baby. Our daughters dressed her in doll clothes. We love her and her family very much. Right now, Maya needs our help. She has unfortunately been diagnosed with stage 4 kidney disease. She needs specialist care at Boston Children’s Hospital. All of this is happening to a ten-year-old little girl. Ten years old! They will potentially be relocating to the Boston area to get her the care she needs to survive. Please consider donating to this fund. She’s a terrific little girl with tremendous spirit, who deserves the best life any child can live.”
– Beth McCourt
“When you know and care about someone for over forty years, they are not just a friend; they are family. Jim and his family are my family. I’ve known how important children were to Jim since we first met. He was never happier than the day Maya came into his life. No one has sacrificed more as a parent to be the best he could be, giving his 100%. Maya is your typical 10-year-old who loves dancing, theatre, playing with her friends, and doing all those things a young girl loves to do. Maya has also sadly been diagnosed with stage 4 kidney disease. Please keep Jim, Tony, Maya, and Mateo in your thoughts and prayers as they travel this next difficult journey of getting Maya all the care she needs to get well. It is most welcome if you could donate to our campaign to help Maya get the care she needs. THANK YOU!!!
– Ken Shepski
Be sure to follow their journey on this site. Updates will be made throughout their journey.
Thank you for your support.
Susan, Beth, and Ken
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Clifton Park, NY