By Mike Weland
Angelia Given, Springfield, Missouri, is the granddaughter of Mike and Londa Furman, long time residents of Bonner’s Ferry. Born October 11, 2010, today she celebrated her tenth birthday. It is a miracle, but more are needed for this small, brave-hearted girl with the smile as radiant as the sun.
Angelia’s parents, Rachel and Josh, realized there was something seriously wrong in Angelia’s tiny body when she was five years old, and they are still on a precarious and fearsome medical roller coaster ride.
In addition to Angelia’s severely stunted growth, she had developed a large “pot belly” assumed to be caused by a wheat allergy.
Removing wheat from her diet helped some, but didn’t solve the problem. Rachel and Josh had to start testing her urine daily, and it was discovered that she was spilling a massive amount of protein in her urine and her belly often became huge.
This showed that her kidneys were not functioning as they
should, since she couldn’t absorb and use meat proteins. Major diet changes helped make improvements in growth, but when she contracted a common cold at six years old, her whole body blew up like a balloon.
They brought her in to see a pediatrician, who told them they needed to take her to the ER immediately. Their roller coaster ride began in earnest.
They discovered that Angelia’s nephrotic system was due to a genetic kidney disorder, In April, 2019, she was started on dialysis, and during a week in the pediatric intensive care unit, she went into cardiac arrest and for seven minutes was kept alive with CPR.
She pulled through, her wit and sunny disposition intact, and by May, 2020, she was able to undergo dialysis at home, but she needed a kidney.
The call came that a suitable one was waiting, and on September 14, the family cut time of the normal four hour drive considerably to reach the hospital in time. At 10:30 a.m., Angelia was wheeled into recovery with a new and functioning kidney.
While relieved, Rachel and Josh are facing massive expenses due to not being able to work while they go back and forth to the hospital and from already spending a great deal of time there.
They live about four hours away from the children’s hospital.
The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA), an organization that helps children and young adults who need a life-saving transplant by providing fundraising assistance and family support, stepped in to help the family.
COTA is the nation’s only fundraising organization solely dedicated to raising life-saving dollars in honor of transplant-needy children and young adults. 100% of each contribution made to COTA in honor of our patients helps meet transplant-related expenses. COTA’s services are free to our families, and gifts to COTA are tax deductible.
They’ve raised $3,080 of their $40,000 goal for the given family, and you can donate by clicking here.
Londa has tirelessly signed for the deaf throughout Bonners Ferry at Mountain Springs Church as well as other places and in Sandpoint, and while it’s not easy, she is asking the community’s help on behalf of Angelia and her family, either by donating to the COTA fund or by participating in an online Facebook auction, the Angelia Given Kidney Transplant Fundraiser.
Either as a donor or a bidder, your help will be appreciated. This auction will be shared with friends in Bonners Ferry, Springfield, Missouri, Gilbert, Arizona and Henderson, Nevada, and participants are free to share it with their friends no matter where they are at.
This auction will run through December 10, 2020. Though it began just yesterday, the items donated already are very impressive, and as word gets out, it is certain that more donations are on the way, meaning bidders should check often!