14-year-old Lance Hubbard was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) at the age of five, but he can now live as a normal adolescent thanks to a significant sacrifice made by his father, Brodrick Hubbard.
According to studies, renal illness is the greatest cause of death in the United States, with many cases going misdiagnosed. The prevalence of CKD ranges from 15 to 74.7 cases per 1 million children, with mortality rates 30 to 50 times higher in children who proceed to End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) than in the general population.
Brodrick, 36, never shied away from the prospect of joyfully donating his kidney to his son if the necessity came. Lance and Brodick discussed their experience in an exclusive interview with People.
When the teenager was five years old, his parents discovered he had a renal condition. Kendria, his mother, noted his swollen hands and feet, as well as his unusual absence of appetite. Brodrick told People that having his son go through all of the testing and operations following his diagnosis psychologically exhausted him.
Lance encountered several issues with normal development after being diagnosed with CKD at the age of five, because the growth hormones required to support youngsters do not function effectively in children with CKD.
Even though Lance was able to go off dialysis for a while, physicians warned that it was just a matter of time before he needed either more dialysis or a complete transplant. Brodrick responded, “We’re a pretty strong-willed family.” We believe in God, and I’ve always felt we have the resources we needed to address the problems.”
When he came off dialysis, the 14-year-old, the second of three sons, sought to live a “normal” life, even playing football on his school’s team. However, his symptoms worsened, and his grades suffered as a result of his inability to concentrate owing to brain fog – a result of the toxins not being entirely eliminated by dialysis. He had to quit school later for his transplant.
Brodrick had to get in shape, and with the support of his wife, he lost roughly 15 pounds in preparation for the huge surgery, which took place on May 24 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, which has the largest pediatric transplant program in the United States.
“Regardless of the side effects, I want to provide him with a life. It was a no-brainer,” Brodrick said. The 36-year-old was up and about the very next day, surprising everyone with his quick recovery.
Both father and son are still taking the time needed for a full recovery, which ranges from four to six weeks.
Lance now has a chance at a regular life, and he fantasizes about playing basketball with his father and brothers without worrying or exhausting his mother. He’s even started doing things he couldn’t do before, including drinking a lot of water and eating roast beef, just a month after obtaining his replacement kidney.
“My dad is a great example of what it takes to be a good man, loving father, and a hero. I hope to one day live up to the sacrifice. He works really hard and does a lot for our family,” Lance said. The 14-year-old also promises to take all his anti-rejection medication to preserve his kidney and make his father proud.
He hopes to start school once again this fall and spend time outside with his friends and family.