We want to introduce you to our sweet little cousin, Emma Kate.
Isn't she precious!? She was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome a couple of years ago.
Emma Kate is our inspiration for a new series we are beginning this week: Philanthropic Fridays.
We will probably only host Philanthropy Fridays about once a month. It will be a chance for you to link up and post about philanthropies or ministries that are close to your heart too. Let's get the word out!
Here's an excerpt about Emma Kate from Meredith's (Emma Kate's mom / my cousin) blog....
The entire time she was at the hospital she was SUCH a trooper. Never shed a single tear or complained about the treatments. Even through all the needle sticks, IV's, night wakings, ect., she was braver than us.
The nurses were impressed.
We were all impressed.
There were so many unknowns, and the doctors were far from encouraging! It didn't help matters that my son (5 months old at the time) was fighting a 104 degree fever and double ear infections. Thank God for family! And thank God for all the people lifting us up in prayer. With so many hard things coming at us at once, we were so thankful Emma Kate embraced the situation so well. Seeing her strength helped us out.
I cried more then than I have in my entire life. Part of the tears were from seeing how the steroids affected my sweet little girl so much. She went from hugging and smiling, to hitting and not wanting to be touched, overnight. Despite the behavioral changes on the second day, she still did well with the nurses and treatments. Thankfully, by the third day the initial shock to her system had calmed down and she was MUCH better. Needless to say I hugged on her ALL day that day, since she hadn't let us touch her the day before. A 2 year old not wanting to be touched or hugged by a parent is so much harder than you can imagine. Especially when all you want to do is love on them and let them know it's okay.You can check out the rest of Meredith's blog here. Daniel and Meredith have changed Emma Kate's diet to reflect a gluten-free, dairy-free and low sodium lifestyle because of her condition. Along with other great tips and wisdom, Meredith's blog has fantastic insight and options on which foods to buy with that diet.
So what is Nephrotic Syndrome?
Nephrotic Syndrome, in itself, is not classified as a disease. However, it can potentially lead to blood clots and very serious conditions such as kidney failure if not treated correctly. In a properly-functioning system, the kidneys spill protein into the blood. With Ns, the kidneys spill protein into the urine instead. This causes swelling, lack of energy and urine output. Though Ns is most common in kids, doctors have yet to figure out the cause. More importantly, there is NO CURE. There are two types: minimal change (what Emma Kate has), and FSGS which is far more serious and often ends with a transplant. Eighty percent of the kids have the minimal change and do respond well to treatment. Though the cure has not been found, high doses of steroids or chemotherapy drugs can help put the body in remission.
The gun was fired and we took off. We hit the first mile marker and JD looks over at me, "Ok. One mile. Let's pick up the pace." I shake my head, "Nope. Nope. I'm just going to keep on at this pace. My only goal for this race is simply to jog the entire thing without walking." And I did! Fortunately, a little girl named Gloria with a "Runnin 4 Chikin Nuggitz" T-shirt ran beside me when I started giving out towards the end.