Shafer was born with Denys-Drash Syndrome, a rare medical condition of which there have been only 200 diagnosed cases in the world. The syndrome is caused by a genetic mutation that includes chronic kidney disease leading to failure by age 3. The most amazing thing about this particular transplant is that mother and son are a perfect match, something so rare it is practically unheard of.
Daves said, “Doctors are calling it a medical marvel and a medical mystery. I call it a medical miracle!”
“I will be the living donor for Shafer’s life-saving kidney transplant. The surgery is expected to take five hours and we will be in side-by-side operating rooms in the Rascal Flatts Surgery Center at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital,” she said.
The rarity of a mother giving life to her son a second time within 18 months of his birth and in such a phenomenal set of circumstances is generating incredible buzz throughout the media.
Daves appeared on several news programs in Chattanooga and Nashville, and is scheduled to appear in a news special about her family’s amazing journey with Shafer to be aired on Chattanooga television station WRCB-TV 3, June 3 at 11 a.m. on “3 Plus You.”
“This is a miraculous medical story,” said Daves. “I am a perfect six-antigen match for his kidney, which is extremely rare for a parent.”
The family will be moving to Nashville while mother and child recover together. According to Daves, Shafer’s kidneys failed on his last birthday — Oct. 15 — and he has been on dialysis 11 hours a day ever since. The family has been praying for a miracle.
“What we’ve prayed for, hoped for and waited many months for is finally almost here. What an honor to have the privilege of donating one of my kidneys to extend my precious son’s life,” said Daves.
“The outpouring of love and support from so many people continues to astound us. God has gone before us and not only met our needs, but far surpassed them. It has strengthened our faith to live on ‘daily bread.’ How exciting to wake up every morning and gather the ‘manna’ from heaven that the Lord is providing for us. It is truly supernatural.”
In an earlier interview, Daves praised her husband, Kevin, for reminding the family daily “that we are going to make it and that God will never leave or forsake us. Kevin’s strong faith and leadership have kept our family united despite the pressing demands that come with a sick child.”
Denys-Drash Syndrome can also cause kidney cancer (known as Wilms’ Tumor) and other difficulties. When Daves’ bloodwork came back as a “perfect match,” the family was ecstatic. According to Daves, president and founder of Positive Results, a motivational speaking, training and program development firm, even Shafer’s siblings are saying they are hopeful they will be a perfect match in the future should their brother need another kidney donor in the future.
For further information on how you can help and updates, visit www.cotaforshaferd.com.