Thank you everybody. Our campaign is now over.
Dakota's in need of a new liver!
$1,375 raised
9% of $15k goal
6 contributors
0 days left
Ended Oct 11, 2014

Dakota was born with a rare genetic disorder called Alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency. Alpha-1 is an inherited disorder that may cause lung disease and liver disease.

When Dakota was only 2 months old he was taken to Akron's Children's Hospital ER because he could not keep down formula and his skin was so yellow that the whites of his eyes looked green. The doctors did a few tests and he was admitted within 45 minutes of arriving. Doctors were unsure at first what was happening to Dakota's body, but knew it was liver related. They did an exploratory surgery and biopsied his liver. Many, many tests later, they discovered he had Alpha-1. Dakota was put on a special medication called ursodiol, that he takes twice a day, at very specific times since 2 months old.

At 9 years old, Dakota's quarterly blood work findings discovered his liver functions were declining. He was sent to Cincinnati's Children's Hospital for a thorough evaluation, and has gone back every 6 months for the same thorough testings to make sure his liver and lungs were functioning enough so transplants didn't need to happen.

June 5th 2013, while at his 6 month evaluation in Cincinnati, doctors discovered his liver functions are declining, yet again. They were worried because he hadn't gained weight in a couple years, but continues to get taller.

Dakota went back 3 months later for a liver transplant evaluation. It was a 2 day stay that consisted of a battery of tests, discussions with surgeons, social workers, and everyone else involved with transplant operations. His liver is cirrhosed and it is starting to affect his surrounding organs, including his now enlarged spleen. This concerned the medical staff enough to go ahead with adding his name to the liver transplant list. On a positive note, his heart does not seem to be affected so far! 

April 23, 2014 Dakota went to another 6 month checkup. This time the MRI findings were a little disturbing. His liver has nodules. The next step is to go back to Cincinnatti May 12 and have a biopsy done. The last time Dakota had a biopsy, he was 2 months old. This will be another over night stay.

Dakota's grandma, a.k.a. "Mammaw", a.k.a. Chris, has been with him through every step. Every sleepless night. Every hospital visit. Every 3-6 month G.I. doctor visits. Every 6 month trip to Cincinnati. Every single day, trying her hardest to get him to eat so he gains proper weight. Not only does she raise her grandson, but also Dakota's little sister, Torianna. This woman deserves a medal. Some sort of recognition. But no, she prefers to stay out of the lime-light. To do the only thing she knows how to do... take care and protect the ones she loves. She works three jobs just to make ends meet. Just enough to get from one paycheck to another. The thing is... driving 4 hours each way to Cincinnati costs money. Staying in Cincinnati, even at reduced rates, costs money. Eating while there costs money. Money, money, money. Money that she doesn't have. Chris constantly worries about everything, but this is one thing she shouldn't have to. With your donations, she WON'T have to. She can focus her time and energy making sure Dakota is cared for. Please, any contribution helps. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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