Support the Shelby Family

In June, at 17 weeks into the pregnancy, Jared and Laeya found out that their precious boy, Lucas, had not developed kidneys in utero. Typically, this condition also means that his lungs would not fully develop, and his little body would not be able to sustain life after birth. However, soon after finding out this heartbreaking diagnosis, they learned of an experimental treatment that injects saline fluid (called “amnioinfusions”) into the uterus on a weekly basis in an attempt to develop his lungs. This treatment is currently being undertaken at a few hospitals, including Stanford, as an experimental trial. They discovered this trial’s existence through their own research and presented it to their doctor through Kaiser Permanente. Through a huge work of God, Kaiser approved their referral to Stanford for this trial and they have just completed their 10th week of amnioinfusions.

If the amnioinfusions are successful in enabling Lucas’ lungs to develop and Laeya is able to deliver Lucas when he is at a healthy gestational weight and age (she is currently 31 weeks pregnant), he will need to be placed on dialysis for up to 2 years before receiving a kidney transplant. They have a long journey ahead of them, with the most crucial step being the development of Lucas’ lungs for his survival after birth, followed by his placement on dialysis due to his lack of kidneys. This is a very rare diagnosis and there have not been many families who have been able to participate in this trial (it is believed to be less than 20 nationwide). Their willingness to participate in this experimental trial is not only for Lucas’s sake, but provides more information about this diagnosis that will help future families who find themselves in this heartbreaking situation.

This process for Laeya, Jared, Grace and Lucas has been miraculous at every step. All tests so far have shown that Lucas’ lungs appear to be developing well, his heart is strong and developing well, and his weight is really good according to his gestational age. However, they won’t know for sure about his lungs until birth. God has continued to provide a smooth path for this beautiful family again and again and they continue to follow Him week by week. 

Due to the high risk pregnancy and birth, the doctors at Stanford have required the Shelby family to move to Palo Alto in order to be as close to the Children's Hospital as possible for when Laeya goes into labor (preterm labor is common in this situation). They will be living near the hospital for up to 6 months (which includes the remainder of Laeya's pregnancy and NICU time on dialysis for Lucas). Their plan is to return to Roseville once Lucas is stable enough to have at-home dialysis. Both Jared and Laeya's mothers and Jared's sister are switching off weeks caring for them and their 3 year old daughter, Grace. Jared is continuing to teach his 3rd grade class through distance learning during this time.

The Shelbys chose Lucas’ name because it means “bringer of light”. Through an extremely difficult season for both for them and for our world, they do continue to see how his precious little life is bringing light. 


Any donations that the family receives through this platform will go towards several different needs. 

1. Jared will need to take some time off from teaching after the birth of Lucas. Laeya has not been able to work during this pregnancy and will not be able to work for the foreseeable future. They are currently staying in a hotel room in Palo Alto and will stay at the hotel until Lucas is released to go home on dialysis, which could be up to 6 months. 

2.Medical costs, food, gas, and recurring monthly bills (they continue to pay rent on their home in Roseville for the time being, while not knowing how long they will be living in Palo Alto) are also needs for the family at this time. 

3.Any extra or leftover money will be used as a donation to the Family Resource Center at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital to help other families, as this center has been such a big source of blessing for the Shelby family thus far. 

 Please consider donating to this wonderful family. Every donation, no matter how small, helps ease their financial burden and allows them to focus all their energy on their family and fight for Lucas’ life.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Courtney Renick 
Loomis, CA
Laeya Shelby 
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