2017-03-17 / Community

Undaunted, Moorpark boy is ever-hopeful

Aims to raise $20K for National Kidney Foundation
By Caitlin Trude


ON A MISSION—Kadin raises awareness about kidney health. ON A MISSION—Kadin raises awareness about kidney health. A 10-year-old Moorpark boy has been waiting three years for a kidney transplant.

At just 3 days old, Kadin Hoven was diagnosed with kidney disease. While a normal, healthy life seemed to be on the horizon after his dad, Shawn, donated a kidney to Kadin when he was 9 months old, the boy’s body started rejecting the organ when he turned 5.

In early 2014, Kadin again underwent a kidney transplant when he and his mom, Heidi, participated in a paired kidney exchange program. Heidi donated her kidney to a patient in San Francisco, and in return, Kadin received one from a donor in Ohio.

But their relief was short-lived.

Just 20 days later, that kidney also failed and Kadin’s body began to shut down.

It was a tumultuous time for the family.

“It was turbulent because (the doctors) did the transplant, everything looked really good (but) he went downhill so fast,” Shawn said. “It came to the point where the kidney was, in a sense, a toxin within his body. They realized they were going to have to do surgery to remove it.”

Kadin was sedated for three days as he underwent surgery to remove the kidney.

“It was kind of like one of those bad dreams,” Shawn said. “I think the hardest part of the whole thing was . . . I had to tell him when he woke up that they had to take the kidney out. He was just sitting in the hospital bed (and) he looked at me and paused for a moment (and said), ‘I went through all of that for nothing.’”

“He’s still traumatized by it,” Shawn said. “He’s very hesitant to do another (kidney transplant) when . . . he’s very fearful of it not going well again.”

Since July 2013, Kadin has been on dialysis—a process that eliminates waste and unwanted water from the blood—every day for 10 hours at a time while he sleeps, Heidi said.

Staying strong

Despite having undergone two kidney transplants and not yet being matched for his third, Kadin is not slowing down.

When he isn’t busy cooking, playing basketball, running cross country or playing with his 7-year-old brother, Ian, the Santa Rosa Technology Magnet School fifth-grader is an advocate for the New York City-based National Kidney Foundation.

Heidi said she and her husband brought their son to his first Kidney Walk in Los Angeles when he was an infant.

Now, Kadin has his own fundraising team, “Kadin’s Kidney Crew,” which collects donations

for the foundation.

Earlier this month, Kadin and his family shared the story of his battle with kidney failure at a National Kidney Foundation fundraisingevent in Santa Monica. Kadin raised $10,000 at the March 2 event and stephanie@ hopes to raise another $10,000 by Nov. 2, which is when the next Kidney Walk will be held in Los Angeles.

“I’m very happy, but it is kind of tiring,” he said of his fundraising efforts. “The walks are really fun.”

“He’s very motivated because he knows that the money he raises goes to other people with kidney disease,” said Heidi. “(The National Kidney Foundation is) such a great support system that Kadin doesn’t feel like he’s alone.”

Support system

While it can be difficult for the family to balance everyday life with Kadin’s health issues, the Hovens take it one day at a time.

“We can’t control it. We can’t change what’s going to happen. So we just enjoy the moments we have, and when challenges (arise), we figure what we need to do to get through,” Shawn said.

Heidi agreed.

“The people I’m surrounded with are very supportive and they’re always asking how Kadin is doing and if they can do anything,” Heidi said. “(Kadin) has his good days and his bad days. He doesn’t let a lot get him down, so he tries to turn a negative into a positive. We’re grateful he’s turning his health situation into something greater for other people, especially at such a young age.”

To donate to Kadin’s Kidney Crew, go to http://donate.kidney.org/goto/Kadinskidneycrew.

For more information, visit www.kidney.org.

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