Some of our customers may be aware that the Beuschel family has been supporting and caring for a sick family member for a long time now. Keith and Kathy’s granddaughter, Lyndi Hollinger, developed a rare kidney disease called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) when she was two years old. Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis is the most common cause of nephrotic syndrome in children, and in Lyndi it caused both of her kidneys to fail in 2014 when she was seven. They were removed in 2015, and as a result Lyndi had to undergo dialysis for 10 hours a day in order to remain alive – more than 7300 hours of peritoneal dialysis total.
This last December Lyndi received a very special Christmas present – a kidney from her uncle Daryl Scheidel. When Lyndi was originally diagnosed, her uncle offered to donate a kidney. Unfortunately, after testing, the doctors stated that his kidneys were not a match for his niece’s. However, in the fall Lyndi underwent a treatment with Rituximab to lower the number of antibodies in her system and allow her body to become receptive to a transplanted organ. The Rituximab did the job it was supposed to, and on December 20, 2016, Daryl and Lyndi underwent surgery to transfer his kidney into her body. Lyndi was very excited at the idea of being able to live a more normal life, and she named her new kidney Kiwi. With her family, friends, and community behind her offering prayers and support, Lyndi faced the surgery bravely, and it was a success! Within two days of the surgery Lyndi was up and about for short periods of time, even dancing!
Transplant operations and their aftermath are complicated, however. Patients always risk their bodies rejecting the organ. Lyndi’s body has not, but the FSGS she suffered from before has returned and is attacking the new kidney. Lyndi must undergo a treatment called plasmapheresis. Plasmapheresis is “a method of removing blood plasma from the body by withdrawing blood, separating it into plasma and cells, and transfusing the cells back into the bloodstream.” Lyndi has to have plasmapheresis done regularly for her body to continue to have the necessary lower antibody count.
Another problem is that these treatments leave her vulnerable to other illnesses. It’s wintertime, and there are a lot of them. Last month she fought off pneumonia. Lyndi’s family continue to rejoice that she is feeling better and will be able to live the life of a regular 9-year-old girl, thanks to modern medicine and Daryl’s kidney. A week after the surgery her mother, Tressa Hollinger, wrote:
“It was 7 years ago we started on the journey with Lyndi. From the first diagnosis of Nephrotic Syndrome and later FSGS. She has been through more than most children have and while at times was very unhappy a majority of the time she handled it great. It really has shaped who she is along with our family. From teaming with NephCure to bring awareness to these disease to many appearances on our local TV station, we will find a cause for these diseases and eventually a cure. As we rejoice and are so happy that Lyndi has her new kidney we have to remember that there is no cause for this disease. Transplant is not a cure – which we shortly found out after transplant. FSGS has re-occurred. There was a 30% chance it would, and it did. So we start a new journey with the new kidney (Kiwi). We don’t know what this journey will hold but we do know we have an awesome nephrologist team, great community of supporters and the amazing God.”
If you are interested in how Lyndi is doing now or what you can do to help the Hollinger family, there is a Facebook page dedicated to her called Lyndi’s New Kidney Journey. Check it out or ask any of the Beuschel family the next time you talk with them.