2019 Birmingham Kidney Walk

WILD for William

My husband, Matchett, and I were so excited to start a family and couldn’t wait to be parents. The pregnancy was uneventful, and we were getting close to meeting our son.

Around the 32nd week of the pregnancy we opted to do a 3D ultrasound to see William one last time before birth. This ultrasound revealed something wasn’t right. We were told that both of his kidneys appeared to be covered in cysts, and there was very little amniotic fluid. The doctors were unsure how soon we would have to deliver. We consulted many doctors and were told by all of them to be prepared for the worst. It was unlikely that his lungs would fully develop. We spent the time leading up to his birth praying to God to save our son.

William Matchett Gunn, III, was born on February 4th, 2016, with Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD) affecting both of his kidneys. He wasn’t breathing well on his own at the time of birth, but after a few minutes it was concluded that he had full lung development. God had answered our prayers.

He spent the first few weeks of his life in the NICU while the doctors ran tests and evaluated his disease. It was evident in the first few days that he had feeding difficulties, and very high blood pressure. Even to this day, he still does not have an appetite and battles chronic vomiting. He receives all of his nutrition through a feeding tube in his stomach.

He is always at the top of the charts for height and weight, thanks to the feeding tube, and the amazing doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital and Pediatric Nephrology of Alabama.

William receives numerous medications throughout the day to help combat his disease, and the effects it has had on his body. Because of the feeding tube and medications, he has not needed to start dialysis. However, chronic kidney disease is an irreversible illness, and he will one day need a kidney transplant. Until the transplant, his kidney function will continue to be monitored until at some point they are no longer functioning properly. Our goal is to keep him growing and get him as far as possible before the kidneys fail.

William is such a blessing and exudes happiness all around. He has shown that he is a fighter, and we will continue to
fight for him. We are so honored to call him ours.

Our hope is to raise awareness and money for people across Alabama fighting kidney disease. The Alabama Kidney Foundation provides so much assistance to families across the state who are in the middle of the fight of their life.

William served as the 2018 Birmingham Kidney Walk Patient Chair. William's team, WILD for William, was able to raise over $40,000 last year to help the kidney patient of Central Alabama!

We are excited that Matchett is serving as the Honorary Walk Chair for the 2019 Birmingham Kidney Walk. We would love your support with a donation and/or joining our team, WILD for William. We will be walking April 13th at Samford Univeristy Track & Field Complex

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