Stories about: Our Patients’ Stories

A bond rooted in kidney transplant: Catching up with Ayden and Aubrey

We celebrate National Kidney Month with a look back at a special friendship sparked by kidney transplant.

Close-up of Ayden as a toddler. Ayden was born with polycystic kidney disease and received a kidney transplant.

Ayden was born with polycystic kidney disease.

Close-up of Aubrey as a toddler. She was diagnosed with congenital nephrotic syndrome at 4 months old.

Aubrey was diagnosed with congenital nephrotic syndrome at 4 months old, and by age 18 months, she had both kidneys removed and was on dialysis.

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Living life with type 1 diabetes: Justin’s story

little boy with an insulin pump

My name is Justin and I’m 9 years old. I’m a Cub Scout and I like to swim, ski, race my bike and play LEGOS — I love being active and hanging out with my friends. But last March, I got some unexpected news that was pretty scary at first. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

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Chloe’s story: ‘It’s okay to be different’

spinal dysgenesis

In a lot of ways, I’m like any 13-year-old: I like to FaceTime with my friends, play with my younger brother Ethan and our three dogs and post selfies on Instagram. I also play clarinet and love to sew, knit, quilt and make other crafts. But I’m different, too — and I want other kids to know that it’s okay to be different.

I was born with spinal dysgenesis, which means that one of my vertebrae was out of place and pinching my spinal cord. As a result of the surgery to fix it, I have a problem called post-operative paraplegia — I can’t move my legs when I want to. I use a wheelchair to get around most of the time. I think of the chair as being part of me, but it doesn’t define me.

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‘Going for it’ with a congenital hand difference

Ashley Murphy Thriving lead image gymnastics

“People ask me if it’s harder to do certain things, and I always tell them, ‘I don’t know, this is all I’ve ever had.’” Despite being born with symbrachydactyly — a condition in which the middle three fingers of her left hand never fully developed — 12-year-old Ashley makes most things look easy. She runs cross-country, plays basketball and even competes on the uneven bars in gymnastics, all with a hand that sets her apart from most kids her age.

“We talk a lot about how everyone has differences,” says her mom, Juli. “I told her when she was little that her hand won’t ever be the same as others, but we can adjust and make compensations so she can do the things she wants to do.” And what does Ashley want to do? The answer to that seems to be almost everything.

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