Category Archives: Kidney

Fundraisers set for double kidney transplant recipient – Loveland Reporter-Herald

By Shelley Widhalm

Reporter-Herald Staff Writer

POSTED:   08/02/2014 11:05:05 AM MDT

Jacob Whitler, 16, takes his dog named Buddy for a walk Friday morning near his home in Loveland. Whitler had a kidney transplant a month ago with his mother, Lisa Whitler, as the donor. (Steve Stoner / Loveland Reporter-Herald)

Lisa Whitler talks about the surgeries that she and her 16-year-old son, Jacob, underwent recently when she donated a kidney to Jacob. (Steve Stoner / Loveland Reporter-Herald)

If you go

What: Fundraising event in honor of Jacob Whitler.

When: Thursday, Aug. 7.

Where: Texas Roadhouse, 4633 S. Timberline Road, Fort Collins.

Benefit: 20 percent of sales will be donated, a flier advertising the event is required; go to

Other events:

• Sept. 13, Mums sale, preorder perennial flowers and pick them up at the Foundations Church parking lot, 1380 Denver Ave.

• Oct. 19, Bowling tournament, Sweetheart Lanes, 2320 N. Lincoln Ave., Loveland. RSVP by Oct. 5.

To make a donation: Mail it to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 W. COTA Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403, or online at Checks or money orders should be made payable to COTA with “In Honor of Jacob W” written on the memo line of the check.

Sixteen-year-old Jacob Whitler said about his mother, Lisa, “All I can do is thank her and kiss her feet.”

Lisa donated one of her kidneys to Jacob, who was diagnosed with kidney failure as a baby and got corrective surgery but late last year started experiencing declining kidney function.

“I wanted to give him a new life. I wanted to give him the best chance at the most normal life possible,” said Lisa, a Loveland resident, about her son, who will be a junior at Mountain View High School.

Knowing how high the associated expenses are with a kidney transplant, Lisa’s friends organized a fundraising account on Jacob’s behalf through the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, a Bloomington, Ind.-based nonprofit focused on offsetting transplant-related expenses.

Donations are made to COTA on the patient’s behalf and used to cover expenses such as travel and hotel costs, co-payments and anti-rejection medications that are not covered by health insurance.

Family friend Karen Klein wanted to help Jacob and Lisa, who is a single mother of two children, so she agreed to do the publicity for the fundraising efforts.

“Some people you meet and you just have a connection,” Karen said. “You have a friendship, and you love each other.”

Jacob said when he hears Karen’s name, “I just get happy.”

“Karen’s been a second mother to me for lots of years. She’s always been there for me and my family,” he said.

The COTA fundraiser on Jacob’s behalf is for $45,000 and, with the help of several community members who did their own fundraisers, the effort has raised $14,000 so far. The fundraising, initiated June 1 to continue through May 31, 2015, has included portions of restaurant sales, a jewelry party, a card-making class and a bake sale.

“It’s just amazing that people we know and people we don’t know have stepped up and embraced his cause,” Lisa said.

Jacob was born with hydronephrosis with grade five reflux, or swelling of the kidneys with reverse flow of urine through the ureters that damaged both of his kidneys. When he was 2 days old, blood tests showed that his kidneys were failing, and the next day he had emergency surgery at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver to replant the ureters, correcting the reflux issue.

For several years, Jacob had stable kidney function, but at a routine appointment when he was 10 years old, he was found to have decreased kidney function. He was prescribed six new medications, had to follow a strict new diet and was scheduled for numerous tests.

By the time he was 15, Jacob’s kidney function started declining again, and he was given the option of dialysis or a transplant.

Lisa did the required testing in late February and found that she was a match for Jacob and donated her kidney to him. They had the surgeries June 25, his at The Children’s Hospital and hers at University Hospital.

“It was from start to finish such an amazing process,” Lisa said. “We had people praying alongside us. Our prayers were answered.”

Following surgery, Jacob, who had been experiencing tiredness and difficulty in concentrating, started feeling energetic again, he said. He will have to wait until he’s fully recovered to return to martial arts, something he’s done for three years. He’s also involved in school theater and likes reading, archery and playing video games, he said.

“I just have a lot more energy. I don’t feel any symptoms or anything,” Jacob said.

Lisa, as the donor, felt some tiredness after surgery but is now recovered, she said.

“As a mother, I would give anything for my children,” Lisa said. “This is a gift I could give. It’s giving him new life.”

Contact Reporter-Herald Staff Writer Shelley Widhalm at 970-669-5050 or Follow her at

via Fundraisers set for double kidney transplant recipient – Loveland Reporter-Herald.

Risk Model Predicts Transplant Patient Readmission Risk – Renal and Urology News

John Schieszer

August 01, 2014

Less than a high school education and delayed graft function are among the factors.

SAN FRANCISCO—Researchers have developed a new risk model to predict the likelihood of hospital readmission of a patient within 30 days of receiving a kidney transplant, according to a presentation at the 2014 World Transplant Congress.

David Taber, PharmD, director of clinical research in the division of transplant surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and his colleagues conducted a large-scale retrospective analysis that included 1,176 adult kidney transplant recipients who received their kidneys from 2005 to 2012. The researchers noted that understanding important factors associated with 30-day readmissions may lead to improved risk assessment, a better use of resources, and possibly reduce events.

Of the 1,176 patients, 130 (11%) had to be readmitted within 30 days of receiving their transplant. The most significant predictors of 30-day readmission were recipient sociodemographics, induction therapy, delayed graft function (DGF), and a number of index hospitalization data.

On multivariate analysis, patients who did not graduate from high school were nearly 5 times more likely than high school graduates to be readmitted within 30 days. Patients with DGF were 3.8 times more likely than those with immediate graft function to be readmitted within 30 days.

Donor factors were not significantly associated with 30-day readmission.  Dr. Taber said this risk model, if validated, could be used to focus resources on high-risk patients and reduce events.

via Risk Model Predicts Transplant Patient Readmission Risk – Renal and Urology News.

Naturally occurring antibodies may be treatment for BK nephropathy in kidney transplant patients – Medical News Today

Friday 1 August 2014 – 2am PST

A viral infection known as BK that commonly causes kidney transplant dysfunction in patients taking high doses of immunosuppressants may be treated with naturally occurring antibodies that already are widely available, according to UPMC-led research that was presented this week at the World Transplant Congress in San Francisco.

The BK virus infects most healthy children in the U.S., but the infection is usually asymptomatic and readily cleared by the immune system. However, following natural infection, latent virus persists in the kidneys for an indefinite time because antibodies in the plasma and circulating T-cells remain at levels that are high enough to prevent virus reactivation.

“However, if the immune system is suppressed – for example by kidney transplant medications designed to prevent rejection of the organ – viral infection flares up and damages the kidney. This causes a condition called BK virus nephropathy,” said Parmjeet Randhawa, M.D., a UPMC pathologist and professor of transplant pathology at the University of Pittsburgh, who led the research. “Currently, there are no anti-viral drugs or vaccines specifically designed for BK nephropathy, and none is likely to be licensed for at least the next 10 years.”

Dr. Randhawa and his team found that anti-BK antibodies are present at very high levels in immunoglobulin preparations currently being used to treat other viral infections, as well as immunologic disorders such as antibody mediated rejection of transplanted organs. These antibodies interact with a BK virus surface protein called VP-1 and effectively neutralize the virus. Such neutralized viruses can no longer infect human cells.

“By artificially constructing viruses varying in the composition of the proteins on their surface, we have shown that this neutralizing action is effective against all six common BK virus strains circulating in human populations,” Dr. Randhawa said. “These findings open the way to conduct clinical trials for preventing and treating BK nephropathy in kidney transplant patients.”

As the proposed immunoglobulin preparations are natural products derived from healthy human subjects, associated side effects are expected to be minimal, Dr. Randhawa said.

Collaborators on the study were Diana Pastrana, Ph.D., and Christopher Buck, Ph.D., both of the National Cancer Institute; Gang Zeng, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Pathology; Mel Berger, Ph.D., of CSL Behring, in King of Prussia, Pa.; and Sundaram Hariharan, M.D., and Ron Shapiro, M.D., both of UPMC.

via Naturally occurring antibodies may be treatment for BK nephropathy in kidney transplant patients – Medical News Today.

UPMC. (2014, August 1). “Naturally occurring antibodies may be treatment for BK nephropathy in kidney transplant patients.”Medical News Today. Retrieved from

Protein May Prevent Antibody-Mediated Transplant Rejection

Thu, 07/31/2014 – 8:40am

A study presented at the 2014 World Transplant Congress evaluated the safety and efficacy of CSL Behring’s C1 Inhibitor (C1-INH) concentrate in preventing antibody-mediated rejection following kidney transplants in highly sensitized patients. C1-INH is a human protein and an important inhibitor of the complement system.

The study shows that post-transplant treatment with C1-INH results in significant increases in the levels of complement components 3 and 4, suggesting that C1-INH inhibits activation of the complement system following transplantation. Antibody-mediated rejection is a major cause of kidney transplant failure and is often associated with activation of complement, a set of proteins that work with antibodies and play a role in the development of inflammation and tissue damage.

“Antibody-mediated rejection is a severe form of rejection that can occur in patients who have undergone a kidney transplant,” said Stanley Jordan, M.D., Kidney Transplant, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and one of the study’s investigators. “Our findings provide additional insight into how C1-INH affects complement activation and represent an important advance in the study of complement-targeting therapeutics.”

The placebo-controlled, single-center study evaluated 20 highly sensitized patients, meaning they already had antibodies against donor organs. Subjects were randomized to receive either placebo or 20 IU/kg of C1-INH, administered intra-operatively, then twice a week for seven additional doses. Patients were desensitized with immunoglobulin and rituximab, decreasing the patient’s antibody levels prior to transplant.

According to study findings, fewer patients who were administered C1-INH developed serious adverse events compared to those administered placebo (20% versus 30%). C1-INH function and antigen levels in blood increased with C1-INH treatment [C1 function (p=0.0007) and C1-INH antigen percent (p=0.013)]. Patients treated with C1-INH experienced increased C3 levels on day 30 (p=0.005), while C4 levels were significantly higher at all time points. During the study period, no patient treated with C1-INH developed antibody-mediated rejection. Twenty percent of patients developed antibody-mediated rejection following the study period. Thirty percent of patients treated with placebo developed antibody-mediated rejection, 10% during the study period.

Date: July 30, 2014

Source: CSL Behring

via Protein May Prevent Antibody-Mediated Transplant Rejection.

Country’s youngest kidney transplant recipient | Trinidad Express Newspaper | News

By Carolyn Kissoon

Story Created: Jul 29, 2014 at 9:57 PM ECT

Story Updated: Jul 29, 2014 at 9:57 PM ECT

The Express highlighted Nyron Ramcharan’s case back in 2010, when his mother, Nanda Ramcharan, donated one of her kidneys to save his life.

Nyron became the country’s youngest kidney transplant recipient, as he was only nine at the time of the surgery.

The mother and son were described as advocates for higher donor awareness among the population, as there are still dozens more children and adults waiting for a chance at a normal life.

As she told her story with her son, Ramcharan thanked God for the chance to save her child.

She thanked the people and the doctors who made it possible and called on fellow citizens to reach out and make a difference in the life of another through the National Organ Transplant Unit.

Ramcharan told the Express that  Nyron’s renal failure came at two years of age, after a series of unexplained high fevers.

When his doctor informed the family that a kidney transplant would be his only chance at a normal life, they were at a loss but determined to make it happen.

“It seemed so out of reach at the time,” Ramcharan had said.

“He kept getting sicker and needed regular dialysis. That went on for about 14 months, by which time less than 50 per cent one of one of his kidney’s was functioning.”

Nyron continued to live through dialysis while his barely functioning kidney failed more every day.

Then tests were done to determine compatibility and the transplant from mother to son was performed.

“Actually, how it was done is that one of my kidneys was attached to one of Nyron’s,” Ramcharan had explained.

“He is such an inquisitive child and was so happy about receiving a kidney. He actually learned a lot during the past year because he was always asking questions,” she said.

Nyron responded back in 2010.

“I feel great that my Mum did this for me and I want to say thanks to her. And thanks to all the people at the hospital.”

via Country’s youngest kidney transplant recipient | Trinidad Express Newspaper | News.