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Jacob’s Story

Welcome! We've created this to keep friends and family updated about Jacob's kidney transplant. Jacob is 15 and in 10th grade. He was diagnosed with FSGS in April 2009 and it had already progressed to end-stage renal failure. He is awaiting a transplant at the U of MN on November 3, 2009. Thanks for visiting! (more info in My Story)

How did we get to this point?....

Jacob started having much more frequent migraine headaches early this year and his blood pressure was reading higher than normal. We tried blood pressure medication for about a month and the readings after that month were even higher than before he started the meds.

Dr. Gary Robinson sent him in for labwork. The blood work up showed extremely high creatinine levels which indicated a kidney problem. The level was 13.3 (should be 1.3 at highest) We were sent to Fargo the next day.

Dr. Thomas Ahlin immediately put Jacob in the hospital. He stayed for four days. On day one, they did a kidney biopsy and implanted a dialysis port on the right side of his chest and started his first dialysis treatment. The biopsy was sent to the Mayo Clinic for analysis and the results showed a condition called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). His kidneys were operating at less than 5% and had been for some time according to the doctors.

Jacob is otherwise very healthy and his young body was able to compensate for the internal struggle that was happening. He played a double header in baseball the night before we were in Fargo! We, Jacob included, obviously had no idea how sick he was.

Currently, he is going to Detroit Lakes dialysis unit three mornings per week for 4 hours of treatment. He is on a somewhat restrictive diet and taking a lot of pills for blood pressure control and dietary supplements.

The rest of the family is doing well and it would be insane here if Jason was out working. It is a blessing to have him home and has allowed us to keep a regular schedule for the rest of the kids.

We are thankful his disease is something can be remedied with a transplant and that we have dialysis as a backup plan to keep his motor running. There is a lot of worse news out there that others are dealing with everyday.

Thanks for checking in on him and stop back again.

Nikki, Jason, Jacob, Jess, Emma, Ian, Avery Perala

Latest Journal Update


Won't Back Down... that's our boy. Jason created a short video in appreciation of Jacob's courage. 

Unfortunately, you will have to be logged into a facebook account to see it... there is not a way to load video directly to the much appreciated CaringBridge site. If you are a facebook friend of mine, just go to my wall. If you are not, I made the video public.

If you are not familiar with facebook, you have to:
be logged into a facebook account
search for Nikki Perala
click on my name (by pic of kids and I)
it will then bring you to my 'info' page
click on the tab you see along the top 'wall'
you should see a black rectangle
turn up your volume
click the white  arrow to play

Hope it works for anyone interested in viewing!

Jacob and Teresa are both doing fantastic. Have a great summer.
Nikki Jason Jacob and family