Brennan at his 1st Kidneyversary

You Gave the Gift of Health

A father will do anything for his precious son. But Mark Bell was able to do more than most when he donated a kidney to save his son’s life.

Mark speaks about the vital role that Children’s Hospital and generous supporters, like you, played in helping bring Brennan back to health.

“It’s very stressful to have a kid with a chronic condition. But because we’ve gotten such great care at the hospital, it’s helped take away some of the stress and fear.”

Brennan at Children's Hospital

Brennan first came to Children’s in 2017, when he was 11-years-old. Tests and a biopsy revealed that he had kidney disease – and his kidneys were already down to just 60% function.

He was put on blood pressure medication and monitoring. But his kidneys kept declining. He was going to need a transplant as quickly as possible. Mark started the process to see if he was a match. At the same time, Brennan began home peritoneal dialysis where he was connected to the machine every night for 12 hours. It was painful and he was exhausted.

The whole family vividly remembers the day when the call came saying that Mark’s kidney would be a viable match.

“We all cried, and it was just the best feeling ever knowing that I was going to be able to help him.”

Brennan is doing well today!

The COVID-19 pandemic threw an extra curveball at the family with delays and extra protocols. But finally, the day of the transplant arrived – and Brennan’s transformation after the transplant was amazing. Brennan explains,

“It’s like before was black and white, like everything just looks grey. But then after the transplant, even when I first woke up, it’s like everything just burst with colour.”

Now, a year later, Brennan has gained nearly 45 pounds and grown six inches – any day now he’ll be as tall as his dad!

Brennan and his parents want Children’s Hospital supporters to know how much their gifts mean. Our donors funded 100% of the medical equipment at Children’s Hospital last year – including vital pieces of equipment used to care for Brennan and more kids just like him.

Donors’ gifts also supported the life-enhancing programs that help children like Brennan to cope with difficult procedures and keep their spirits up during long days in hospital.

To make sure his kidneys stay healthy, Brennan’s health care team will be right by his side to provide long term care, like routine check-ups. His parents have this message for our supporters:

“We all know somebody who has needed the hospital for their children, whether it’s their niece or nephew or friends. These kids are just starting out – and you want to have the best possible outcome for them for the rest of their lives.”

With wisdom beyond his years, Brennan wants you to know that…

“I’m telling this story to give back – for everything that you’ve done for me and my family. Hope is a big one. Maybe someone will read this story if they’re waiting for a transplant, and see that at some point, they’ll be well again.”

Interested in reading more stories like Brennan’s? Check out our latest updates in the Spring 2022 Newsletter.

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