Our baby girl needs a KIDNEY! A kidney for Hazel.

August 28, 2016  •  27 Comments

I am willing to bet that you did not know that infants and small children in need of a donor kidney achieve the best results from receiving a kidney from an ADULT donor. I didn't know myself when I began on this journey and I am so happy that Hazel's story can help educate more people on the need of adult donors for children.

This beautiful little girl is Hazel Niemitalo, she is just 16 months old and SHE NEEDS A KIDNEY.

Hazel Kate Niemitalo was born on April 4, 2015. She began her life as any normal baby until she began having seizure activity just a few days after birth. She was brought to Wake Forest Baptist medical center in Winston Salem where she was diagnosed with Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome of the Finnish Type. Hazel's kidneys don't properly filter proteins because of a mutation in one aspect of her kidneys.

A kidney Transplant it the ONLY option for a somewhat normal life. 

Hazel story was sent to me a year ago, shortly after her birth but we had to wait for her to meet certain criteria for her to receive a kidney. She lived in the hospital for a majority of her life. Well now she is officially on the transplant list. Seems like a huge deal, and it is because she needs to be listed just to be eligible for a transplant but she will most likely not use a kidney from the donor list since that is from a deceased person and a living donor is the most effective option for her. Since she needs to have both of her kidneys removed prior to her transplant and then be put on dialysis. They are hoping for a living donor so that they can schedule the nephrectomy (removal of kidneys) and not have her on dialysis while waiting for a kidney. She is on the list as inactive since they are planning to use a living donor. However if the time comes that they have to use the list they will have the option available and can make her active. Hazel's mother was not a match for her BUT she has been accepted for the paired donation program. 

What is a Paired Kidney Exchange?

Since 2001, Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center has participated in paired kidney exchanges. A paired kidney exchange, also known as a “kidney swap” occurs when a living kidney donor is incompatible with the recipient, and so exchanges kidneys with another donor/recipient pair.

Two live donor transplants would occur. Suppose there were two donor/recipient pairs, Donor and Recipient 1 and Donor and Recipient 2:

  • Donor 1 would give a kidney to Recipient 2.
  • Donor 2 would then give a kidney to Recipient 1.

This kidney paired donation transplant enables two incompatible recipients to receive healthy, more compatible kidneys. All medically eligible donor/recipient pairs may participate in the paired kidney exchange program.

A kidney swap occurs when two donor / recipient pairs exchange kidneys.

In order to be tested all you need to do is call the number on the sign (336)716-0548 and let them know you are interested in being tested for Hazel Niemitalo Date of Birth 4/4/2015. They will give you all the information you need. Thank you so much! 

Hazel's father Kenny may look familiar to those of you who love Ameican Ninja Warrior. He was a Vegas finalist last year and the show has done amazing things to and help spread the word of Hazel's need of a kidney. PLEASE help us CONTINUE to spread her story until we find her life saving match. 

#kidneyforhazel #shareyourspare #kidneydisease #organdonation #bethechangebaf Kidney for Hazel Maria Niemitalo Kenny Niemitalo American Ninja Warrior Nation


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