Walk for Kidneys Team Spotlight: Team Izzywalkeez
May 29, 2014
Izzywalkeez: In Honor of Izabelle Cary
Six-year-old Izabelle Cary will participate in the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois' 15th annual Walk for Kidneys on June 22, 2014 at Soldier Field. Izabelle and her family have participated in the walk since 2008 and their team of family, friends and supporters, Izzywalkeez, is currently one of the top ten fundraising teams this year. With three weeks to go until the event, Izabelle’s team has already raised over a third of their $2,500 goal.
Like most six-year-old girls, Izabelle loves drawing, acting, and singing. However, what makes her different from most children her age is that she has also been subjected to weeks of dialysis, nine surgeries, and a countless number of blood draws, cat scans, ultrasounds, doctor and emergency room visits.
Only three days after being born in August 2007, Izabelle was diagnosed with Solitary Kidney, meaning she was born with only her right kidney. Shortly after that, Izabelle experienced kidney failure.
Izabelle’s mother, Lisa Cary, says she continues to be involved with the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois after so many years because of the support network and activities it offers for children, including games during Walk for Kidneys and the annual week-long Kidney Camp.
“What I love about the NKFI is that it feels like a family,” said Lisa.
While Izabelle’s last surgery was a couple of years ago, she still faces health issues. Izabelle’s growth was delayed as a result of her kidney disease and she has seen a hormone specialist to discuss the possibility of daily hormone injections to help her grow. Additionally, Izabelle was recently diagnosed with Osteoporosis and has low levels of Vitamin D. Due to this, Izabelle is not allowed to participate in any contact sports such as gymnastics, or attend birthday parties that include bounce houses or trampolines.
Despite this, Izabelle remains charismatic and outgoing. She is enrolled in an after-school art class and also participated in a one-week acting program. Izabelle has so much confidence for such a little girl and loves to perform.
“Finding things that she enjoys that doesn’t put her at risk of breaking her bones is so important to us,” said Lisa.
Now that Izabelle is old enough to understand her condition, her family decided to celebrate World Kidney Day in March, in their home and at school. Izabelle was excited to bring her books to school and teach her classmates about kidneys during science class. This summer Izabelle is looking forward to attending acting camp, swimming, and going to the beach, as well as participating in Walk for Kidneys!
“She’s a fighter and with all the love and support she has from friends and family, nothing will ever get her down,” said Lisa.
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