Not long ago, fourteen year old Kaitlin was diagnosed with chronic renal disease at a time when her kidneys were functioning at only 18 per cent capacity. Shortly thereafter, she was introduced to the Children’s Wish Foundation by her doctor.
Kaitlin had always wanted to go some place warm but never had the opportunity to do so. Her wish was granted the following spring after arrangements had been made to send Kaitlin to Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean.
Kaitlin wasn’t alone in her adventure, her entire family went too. Altogether, 10 people traveled including Dad Ed, Mom Darlene, and siblings Kalisse, Jenaya, Judson, Kylan, Kayden, Kyatt and Kienna.
For one week, everybody enjoyed white sand beaches, sunshine and the Atlantic Ocean. "It was really warm. It was warmer than any lake we have around home" Kaitlin said.
"It was the first time I ever snorkelled - I loved it. I could do it over and over again" she said. Kaitlin got to see fish, turtles and even a shark - but admitted that it was just a small one. Upon return home, Kaitlin enthusiastically commented that "it was really cool. I loved it. It was awesome. It was much better than I ever imagined."
Just knowing she had a vacation to look forward to, helped Kaitlin face her treatments and keep up her spirits. Since the trip, Kaitlin has managed to recover some of her kidney function with the organs now working at 27 per cent capacity.
This has helped to fend off transplant in the near term. Unfortunately, as she gets older the condition is bound to progress to the point where she’ll need a new kidney. Not to worry though as Dad is on a program to ensure that one of his is healthy and fit to donate.