My name is Lavena Jones and I am the mother of Matteo Natale.
My son is a wonderful sixteen year old boy who was diagnosed with stage 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD) when he was seven. Within days after his diagnosis Matteo underwent a surgery for ureteral reinplantation to get him stable , unfortunately the damage to his kidneys was so severe that Matteo would require a kidney transplant.
I watched as my beautiful boy struggled to even get out of bed. He was unable to play any sports and his dream of playing baseball had to be put on hold. Matteo should have been playing like a normal child but he just didn't have the strength. The sadness was overwhelming.
In 2017, almost eight years after Matteo's diagnosis and literally days from having to start dialysis we received the call that a donor had been found and it was a perfect match!
Sadly, the donor lost his own life. I didn't know how to be happy and sad all at once. Here I was ecstatic for what the universe had given us but knowing that a family had lost their own child filled me with great sadness.
The gratitude I felt for saving Matteo's life can never be put into words. The family and their son are forever in our hearts. ❤
The transplant happened within hours after the call and it was a success and Matteo had remained stable until his twelve month biopsy. The results had showed that Matteo had went into Stage 3 kidney rejection, and it was severe. His antibodies had completely attacked the kidney. I could not believe my baby was going to go through this again.
Matteo is currently a patient at Stanford Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, CA. His recovery plan requires monthly IVIG and steroid treatments, weekly blood draws and clinic appointments, plus long stays in the hospital. Matteo takes 15+ pills a day and now has medicine induced diabetes. Now on top of everything else, he has insulin shots before every meal. No child should ever have to go through this!
The strength that Matteo has is incredible, the fact that he remains in good spirits and continues to joke around while he feels so bad is truly amazing!!
Matteo's transplant team at Stanford are the most awesome people on the planet, the dedication and love they give to their jobs and patients is nothing short of spectacular. They do believe that Matteo will respond well to treatment and this kidney can be saved but it will be a uphill battle.
Our family lives hours away from the hospital and we are required to be local. We're blessed to be able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House but we have other children and pets at home so driving back and fourth is a must and an expense we financially were not prepared for.
Our family members have been so supportive and we truly appreciate all they've done. Without their support I don't know what we would have done but they to have exhausted their own resources. ❤
So with a heavy heart we ask for help through this difficult time. Any donation is greatly appreciated!
Thank you everyone for you're consideration and taking the time to read our story. ❤❤
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