Oct 19, 2022
Bradley Monger loves roller coasters and the jump park. He likes dancing for Tik Tok, trips to Walmart, and going to Kings Dominion Amusement Park near his Virginia home; where he lives with his parents and four older siblings. “He’s just happy, you would never think anything was wrong with him,” his mother, Rebecca Monger said to members of the media just a few days ago. There is something wrong however, Bradley was born with kidney disease. His left kidney has no function and his right kidney is now down to just 27 percent function. Bradley needs to have a kidney transplant, “soon, the sooner the better” his mom said.
It was Bradley's doctors who first suggested going to the public to ask for help finding a donor. He is on a waitlist for a transplant. But the reality is he may be waiting several years, and his medical team fears that wait will be too long, as Bradley's kidney disease progresses and his one kidney continues to lose function. His mom was concerned about protecting the privacy of her five children, and unsure how to go about asking the public for help and how to deal with the media. She was put in touch with Brian Martindale who lives in Michigan and helps find donors for kids across the United States through his organization Kidneys For Kids. Martindale traveled to Virginia to help the family set up interviews with local media, and to get the word out on social media.
“A preemptive kidney transplant for a child is very important. It gives them a better chance of keeping a kidney for what could be their lifetime. When getting a donated kidney from a living person the average expectancy of the kidney is 15 to 20 years of function, if you get a kidney from a person that’s passed the average span is only 6 to 8 years of function”, said Martindale during an interview with WHSV.
Bradley's Family says he is an active, fun loving, regular kid. Yet, kidney disease has greatly affected him. He has made regular visits with his doctors since birth, checking his kidney function and his immune system. During Covid his mother home schooled him because of his compromised immune system. His family hopes to find him a donor soon because if he was to start dialysis before transplantation occurs they say there is a greater risk of his body rejecting the donated kidney. “We’re advocating for Bradley because he needs a kidney soon. They don't know how long it will be before his kidney function drops below 20 percent range and it can’t reach 10 percent without him going into dialysis” Said Brian Martindale on behalf of the Monger family during a visit with members of the media.
“There are 1,200 children that need a kidney today and there are over 4,000 other children in The United States that are on Dialysis or in treatment that will need a kidney and when I found out those facts that put me to work, I’ve got to do something about this now”. Brian Martindale, Executive Director of Kidneys For Kids
Martindale has first hand experience with kidney donation. Ten years ago he donated one of his own kidneys to a ten year old girl. He saw a flier on a store counter in his hometown of Bay, Michigan seeking a donor for a little girl. He called the number listed and offered to be tested, and was a near perfect match. Today the little girl is happy, healthy and attending college. Martindale was so changed by the experience of donating, he has dedicated himself to helping as many children as possible to connect with donors so that they too have the chance to grow up, so that they reach adulthood in better health, instead of worse.
Next year Martindale has set a goal to find 100 kidney donors for 100 children in need of transplants. He is mapping out a tour of the United States and he, and his organization Kidneys For Kids plans to visit 48 states advocating for children in need of transplants.
Bradley is in need of a donor with an A positive or type O blood type. -Barbara Moore, Transplant Coordinator
It has only been a few days since the first interviews, Bradley became the lead news story on all the local news channels, The Associated Press picked up the story and it went National and International. A photo and Bradley's story was shared to social media, where people continue to share it to their own groups and accounts. I saw the story yesterday in my newsfeed, decided to find all the information I could about Bradley, and then bring the story here to Kidneyluv to share with all of you in hope of finding a donor so that this little boy can grow up and lead a healthy and happy life.
Anyone who is a match and willing to donate a kidney to Bradley can reach out to his mother Rebecca Monger directly at 540-607-8969 or contact Barbara Moore, Transplant Coordinator Assistant for Living Donors at UVA Health in Charlottesville. Moore’s phone number is 434-243-5610 and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica McCarthy has bachelors in Political Science and Criminal Justice from Central Washington University. A majority of her career was spent as a political consultant. She currently works at KidneyLuv as a staff writer.
This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.