Friday, December 30, 2011

A busy January 2012 - Renal transplant workup dates determined

Things are starting to really move fast for Christian.

The transplant team at Texas Children's have built our workup schedule. Christian will travel to Houston January 8th-9th, 11th-13th, 18th and 22nd-23rd! The workups include suitability evaluation, ultrasounds, bone surveys, bone aging, heart evaluation (a little know side effect of dialysis is severe heart stress and left ventricular hypotrophy leading to heart attacks and death - sample article), dieticians, social work and financial counselors.

We'll keep everyone up to date as things proceed.

Thank you to those who have responded to our 2K for Life! campaign. We've only discussed this with a few people and the response has been overwhelming. We really need your support, so please talk it up. Thanks again.

Kiki's Dad

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Soliris infusions - trial completed, starting long term treatments

Today is a great milestone. Christian has now completed the 5 weekly trial infusions that started in mid-November and has tolerated the medicine well. Dr. S has now moved us into the long term phase of his infusion schedule.

For the next 6 months Christian will travel to Houston twice a month for the infusions of Soliris, with one of those visits doubling as our renal clinic visit.

2012 is really shaping up to be a great year of transition for Christian's care. Thanks to all who have inquired about us and we'll update again soon.

Take care,

Kiki's Dad

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Soliris Approved! Christian to begin therapy in November.

Wow! This has been an amazing year of updates!

We got word today that Christian has been approved to start infusions of Soliris immediately. With the confirmation that his retinal stroke back in August was a result of a recurrence of active HUS, Dr. S, was able to secure treatment with Soliris beginning in November.

The plan is weekly infusions at TCH for 5 weeks, beginning Nov 14th, then we will go to the standard "every two weeks" infusion schedule.

With this acceptance, Dr S will also begin to prepare Christian's case for submittal to the TCH medical review board for a kidney transplant.

What a year this has been... being able to see coming to fruition the hopes we have had for years - that there would be a miracle breakthrough in this terrible disease, discovery of it's causes and a therapy that can manage it and give Christian back a "normal" life.

We are right there on the cutting edge of all of this becoming reality. The feelings are too much to put into words.

Thanks for keeping up with us and take care.

Kiki's Dad

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Update on Christian's retinal stroke

Christian and Mom traveled to Houston to get an MRI and see an opthamology neurologist in order to assess the damage, see what factors caused the stroke and determine a prognosis and therapy/recovery protocol.

The news is a bit mixed. The good news is that the damage appears to be limited to some mild loss of peripheral vision. Christian has recovered much of what was initially lost and that is great. He can see straight ahead just fine but gets blury as he concentrates on the peripherals. The specialist believes that he as recovered all that he will, but this is ok.

The not so good news is that our Nephrologist believes this may be the result of an ongoing episode of HUS. As we often forget, HUS not only affects the kidneys, but it affects the nervous system, the blood system, the brain and many organs in the body.

He is going to conference with some other Nephrologists and get some other opinions.

One side benefit of this is that this could be an opportunity to get Christian approved for Soliris treatments now, rather than being forced to wait until the time of transplant.

Definitely a silver lining, if there ever was one.

We will update with more info as it comes in over the coming weeks.

Take care.

Kiki's Dad

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bad news: Christian has had a mild retinal stroke

Well this is news that has come from left field. As you know, with these kids, things can be going well for quite some time and then seemingly out of nowhere they present with some new issue.

Christian got sick yesterday and then lost vision in his left eye. At first we thought it might be blood pressure related. We got him to a specialist who examined him and determined that he has had a mild stroke in his left eye. He does not think it is blood pressure related as he reviewed Christian's home logs from his daily dialysis and his pressures have been ok.

We are bringing him to TCH to get an MRI done. At this point most of his vision has returned, but he cannot see peripherally - he has essentially a tunnel vision in that eye.

Will update you all with more info as we get it. Keep us in your prayers. Thanks.

Kiki's Dad

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Updates for 2011

Well it is hard to believe that more than 2 years have passed since we have posted regular updates. Looking back on the posts from 2008, there were so many changes going on with Christian's care. We were really experiencing daily trials while learning how to handle life with this new method of dialysis + the job loss post-Katrina and the endeavor of self employment.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge in 2009 and 2010 and I can tell you that it has been a tremendous experience of lows and highs. I'll go into more detail with posts to follow.

For Christian's care, there has been some miraculous advancements in the field of study for his disease. The short story is that the wonderful genetics team at the Univ of Iowa have run the protein chain and figured out 3 or 4 'triggers' that cause Atypical HUS. We know now why Christian's body does what it does. Wow.

And almost on divine queue, a new drug emerges, Soliris, that turns out to be a silver bullet for stopping the progression of Atypical HUS in it's tracks! Mega wow.

Soliris has been in clinical trial for about 18 months now and has what I believe is a 100% success rate in halting the bad part of the Atypical HUS progression. It does not stop Christian's body from initiating the progression of trying to fight infection, which is great, but it takes over the role of protecting his body, which happens normally in people without the deficiency of HUS.

In layman's terms I present it this way: It does not stop the team from taking the ball down the court on you (the body's immune system response), but it is like putting Shaq right in front of the goal and he swats away every single attempt of the opponent to slam dunk the ball (killer cells) into the basket (your healthy cells).

Of course, Soliris is the most expensive drug the world has ever seen (more than $400k per year at full dosing, google search Soliris and Forbes magazine for a neat article Forbes Article - World's Most Expensive Drugs) but we'll cross that path when we get there.

So, for 2011 we are working towards transplant + Soliris. And getting our son set up for a long, long run at life. THAT is answered prayer.

Take care,

Kiki's Dad