Caleb Shonkwiler Caleb’s kidney journey

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For information about us and Caleb’s need for a living kidney donor, please sure to visit our website:

                                                                        Caleb’s kidneys- what happened?

When Erin was pregnant, an ultrasound showed a possible abnormality with Caleb's kidney. More testing showed that there was indeed a problem and we met with a kidney doctor (nephrologist) at Children's Mercy Hospital. 

Caleb has what is called reflux nephropathy where urine from the bladder washes back up to the kidney and over time  causes damage to the kidneys.  He had a surgery when he was 3 months old to help slow down the damage. For those interested in more information, here’s a  (  reflux nephropathy. (

Slowly over time, his kidneys have become more damaged. We have known since he was little that he would eventually need a kidney transplant. 

Thankfully, the plan is to go ahead and give him a new kidney before he would need dialysis.  

But none of that has ever stopped him from being a wild and crazy boy!! 

                                                                                              All About Caleb

Caleb is the most awesome kid ever, but hey, we are pretty biased! We joke that since he is our only child, he is blessed with the personality of at least 2 or 3 kids! 

He just started 6th grade at Heritage Middle School in Liberty, Missouri. He absolutely LOVES to learn- especially any kind of trivia and isn't shy to tell you countless details on geography, Presidential trivia or the periodic table! 

He can most often be found reading books. He is CRAZY about all things Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games and anything by Rick Riordan. 

He has been in Scouts since he was in 2nd grade and recently just got his Tenderfoot rank.

He loves to swim and if you're near the pool, you will end up wet from a water gun aimed your way. He adores any kind of board games or card games and is ruthlessly competitive. 

He is passionate about music and is constantly found humming or singing. He played cello last year and is now starting trumpet in band and wants to be just like his dad and play the baritone someday.
He's OBSESSED with Legos and has over 30 different sets taking up residence somewhere in our basement. His largest accomplishment is the Hogwarts castle from Harry Potter, over 6000 pieces! 

He recently started attending the youth group at our church, Liberty United Methodist. We love to see his faith and relationship with God grow.  

But most of all he is a happy, energetic kid who has the biggest smile, the best sense of humor and loves life.                  

                                                                                                      Our family

We live in Liberty, Missouri- a northeastern suburb of Kansas City. We have two Basset hounds, Bailey and Blossom. Here they are in their natural state:

Erin is a nurse practitioner and works at the University of Kansas Cancer Center. John is a Pathologist Assistant and has worked at MAWD Pathology for 18 years. 

We love to play games and watch movies and TV shows. We also love exploring walking trails in our area.

We are also HUGE Chiefs and Royals fans. 

We also love to travel and go on adventures and have been lucky to visit many places in the US. We most recently visited South Dakota and Colorado. 

We are blessed to have an amazing and supportive family as well as incredible friends who we consider part of our family. 

We are a family of faith and love our church, Liberty United Methodist.