Strathmore mother Morgan Lavallee and her boyfriend Duncan Wilson received potentially tragic news when she was still pregnant with her daughter Noah. When Lavallee was 19 weeks pregnant, doctors discovered their baby had kidney issues, which eventually lead to one of her kidneys losing function even before she was born. Diagnosed with renal dysplasia, there were many potential outcomes for how baby Noah's life could be severely impacted.
However, things turned out for the best, as Noah was born without any issues and is now a happy, healthy, 4-month-old baby who is expected to grow up without any major complications. While everything fortunately worked out for Noah and Lavallee, this scare still inspired her to raise awareness and funds for anyone else who may have kidney problems and the challenges they face.
"A lot of people don't have that same luck, and that was a big reason why we wanted to raise money because we know there are many people that are struggling with that and I was even told that 76% of people on the donor list are waiting for a kidney, which is a huge number. So that's very scary for people that are waiting for a kidney and we're thankful we're not one of those people right now, but we also want to raise awareness for people that are going through that right now and be able to help alleviate some of the financial burden," she said.
Lavallee is fundraising in several ways, with the main focus being the Kidney March that will take place from September 8-10, and you can donate to the cause here. Lavallee is also organizing a 50/50 fundraiser, and the winner of that will be drawn on August 12 at Strathmore Boston Pizza. Lavallee set a goal of reaching at least $4400, and with the march still a month away they're only around $700 away, as of August 10. The incredible community support blew her away, and she couldn't thank the community enough for how much they've supported her cause.
"I was very shocked and also very happy about it. It's great how people in Strathmore end up coming together full force and are always ready to help towards a good cause."
Lavallee and Wilson are both extremely grateful that everything worked out, but the stress of not knowing was quite difficult during the pregnancy. For any other parents who may be in a similar situation, Lavallee says the best thing to do is stay positive and be informed.
"Try to stay positive, you really don't know what's going to happen. Definitely lean on your support system and if you can, reach out to people that have been through that or that have been through similar situations, that helps for sure. We struggled not knowing what was going to happen, and we have a perfectly healthy little girl, so you never know."
Noah is expected to be able to live a relatively normal, healthy life, but Lavallee explained there are still some challenges of only having one healthy kidney. For example, contact sports should be avoided to minimize any risk of the healthy kidney being damaged, and if she wanted to have kids complications with high blood pressure could arise. However, in the grand scheme of things Lavallee is just grateful that Noah will be able to live a healthy life, barring any unexpected complications to her healthy kidney.
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