Elodie Nieuwsma A Kidney For Elodie

Elodie is the long-awaited and much-loved second child in Benjamin and Kate Nieuwsma's family. She was born in Moscow, Idaho, and was a sweet, normal, and energetic little girl for the first 2.5 years of her life. Sometime around the spring of 2019, Kate started to notice that Elodie was easily tired, and seemed to be quickly putting weight on her petite little frame, even though she was not eating well. Some mornings, Elodie would wake up with swelling above her eyes. For several months, this swelling was mistaken for allergies, but after it started to get very bad in April 2019, blood tests were done, and Elodie was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome - a form of autoimmune kidney disease where the immune system attacks the kidneys. A little over a week after diagnosis, Elodie ended up in the hospital for edema (swelling) with low albumin. And from that moment our lives changed! Almost all of 2019 was spent in and out of Sacred Heart hospital in Spokane, WA dealing with terrible complications of NS and trying to get Elodie's autoimmunity into remission. Sadly, nothing worked to stop her body from attacking her kidneys, and after a year and a half of trying every solution, Elodie was diagnosed with FSGS (focal segmental glomerulosclerosis - simply a name for a certain kind of damage to the kidneys that happens from continued autoimmune attack). In October 2020, we were told by Elodie's nephrologist that she would likely need dialysis and a kidney transplant within 6 months. Because the closest pediatric dialysis and transplant center was 6 hours away, we made the heartbreaking decision to leave our beloved community and church in Idaho and move closer to a large transplant hospital and Kate's family in Texas. That began a crazy, 1.5-year quest to find the right hospital and team to do Elodie's transplant, which eventually led us to relocate again to Pensacola, Florida, where Benjamin's family had recently moved. Within two years, we have moved over 3000 miles in pursuit of a life-saving kidney for Elodie. And every mile, every bit of exhausting and heartbreaking work on home dialysis and thousands of hours of doctors' visits will be worth it for a new chance at life for our little girl! As of July 1, 2022, Elodie has been listed on the kidney transplant list in Gainesville, FL, and we are so grateful! Though a kidney might not cure Elodie of her FSGS (it cures in about 50% of cases), it is the only treatment that has a chance of giving her a normal childhood and a longer life. Without it, dialysis will slowly wear on Elodie's heart and take many years off of her life. We are trusting the Lord to lead us to the perfect kidney match that will give our sweet and passionate little girl a new chance of life. Thank you for being here and praying for our Elodie Anne! We thank God for you and for the prayers that have so faithfully been offered for us. Soli deo gloria!