Blake Needs Your Support!
Last year Blake was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney disease called IgA Nephropathy (also known as Berger’s disease). This is a kidney disease that occurs when an antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA) builds up in your kidneys. This resulted in his kidneys not being able to filter waste from his blood. Blake quickly went from 38% functioning at the time of diagnosis to 14% end-stage kidney failure at present. What does this mean? It means that he now requires a kidney transplant.
Blake and I (Michelle/wife) have traveled twice to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. They are one of the few places that have experience with this particular type of kidney disease in the US. After lots of testing, Blake has been approved for a kidney transplant. Although he has been approved, Blake is currently waiting for a living donor to be found. Just to explain a little bit about a living donor verses a deceased donor:
Living Donor – Individuals can donate 1 of their 2 kidneys, and the remaining kidney is able to perform all of the body’s necessary functions. There are 2 ways to be a living donor – 1) direct donor (meaning your kidney would go directly to Blake), 2) paired donor (meaning you are not a match to Blake but to someone else, who also has someone that is a match to Blake – also called a donation chain). Benefits of a living-donor transplant: 1) less wait time, fewer complications for recipient (Blake), longer survival rate as compared to a deceased organ donor.
Deceased Donor – There is a long wait list for a deceased donor’s kidney. At present time, there are over 93,000 on the waiting list. It could take 5-10 years to ever be called. Once called, you have just 24 hours to get to the hospital and have the transplant performed.
Blake really needs your help. Here’s how you can help:
1. Please thoughtfully CONSIDER becoming a living donor. Filling out the form at http://www.livingdonormc.org/
- click Kidney donor, then click Mayo Clinic Minnesota, then filling out the questionnaire and naming (Blake Bernard – 03/10/69) as the recipient is the first step. After you fill out the questionnaire, someone may call you within a week and go over it with you. They will then let you know if you are approved, put on hold or denied. If approved, they will let you know the next step in determining if you’d be a match for Blake or not. Also, all of this is confidential. We are not told anything by Mayo.
2. Please SHARE this message far and wide. You can post it on social media, e-mail to family & friends, etc… The more people that know, the better chance Blake has of finding a living kidney donor. The goal is to find that amazing and generous person who is willing and wanting to be a kidney donor for Blake.
3. Visit Blake's gofundme.com account for more information on how you can financially help.
4. PRAY. “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” ~Matthew 21:22
As many of you know, Blake is married and has 2 sons. Evan who is 17, a senior and also a Type 1 Diabetic and Dalton who is 10, in 5th grade and is wanting to show pigs in 4H next year. Blake has not been able to work since his week-long hospital stay back in April (when he needed 5 pints of blood for being severely anemic and dehydrated). To say the least, this has been a tough year for the whole family – physically, mentally & financially.
We plan on using this CaringBridge website as the one place to keep everyone updated on Blake’s health, any progress with finding a living donor, needs, etc…
Your thoughts, comments, prayers, suggestions, etc… are all welcomed.
Welcome to Team Blake!
Thank you all and God bless you!
The Bernard Family