By Sophia Walck
Ten years ago in May, Evan Ranieri received a kidney transplant from his mother, Melissa Ranieri, at just 2 years old. Born in 2011 on March 10, Evan was born with a stage-four kidney disease that stemmed from hypoplasia. Evan would eventually be given another chance at life from his mother in May of 2013 with the kidney transplant. Evan continued to flourish following the procedure, but how is the now-12-year-old doing today?
When asked how Evan is doing, Melissa said, “Great. Evan is the epitome of a healthy preteen boy. He’s had zero complications; you would have no idea of his journey from the outside. We are as good as can be.”
Both Melissa and Evan have suffered no repercussions, and Melissa’s kidney function is as good as it was 10 years ago, even with only one kidney. In fact, Evan is also living a fully healthy and normal life.
“We have all the things now that we prayed for before. He’s not hooked up to machines and he goes to school like a normal kid. He’s a lot shorter than all of his friends, but they all accept him for who he is; they’re not fazed by him,” said Melissa.
Evan reiterated, “I feel like any other kid my age. I’m excited for summer and my labs for my kidney have been good all year. My parents are supportive and allow me to do all the things other kids do, like sports, going to amusement parks and hanging out with friends.”
Melissa described the bond between them that was gifted from this transplant: “To be able to see his progress as a mother is truly special, it’s a very unique situation to see him live life because of that opportunity that I gave him.”
Although Evan was too young at the time to truly process his journey, now that he’s older, he has realized the impact on his life.
“He understands how his selflessness has inspired others who are struggling. However, we want people to understand that this is not the end of Evan’s journey; he will need another transplant again, and we don’t know when. As we get past the 10-year mark, we hold onto the unknown. We’ve felt so much love and support from this community, and when the time comes, we know they’ll be there for us again. Right now, we just live our lives to the fullest and will face what will come.”
For more information about kidney transplant awareness, please visit www.kidney.org.