Fun run for John: Mount Angel family raises funds for son’s kidney transplant

January 2021 Posted in Uncategorized
Patty, John and Mike Kloft on their farm, Lonely Lane Farms – courtesy of Evelyn Shoop.

Patty, John and Mike Kloft on their farm, Lonely Lane Farms – courtesy of Evelyn Shoop.

By Melissa Wagoner

When seven-year-old John Kloft told his parents he had pain in his side in May of 2020 they assumed he had appendicitis.

“We took him to his normal Physician’s Assistant, Brianna Brooks in Silverton,” John’s parents, Mike and Patty Kloft, wrote in a recent press release chronicling the family’s journey.

“She sent us for more tests because John’s symptoms seemed a little odd.”

It’s lucky she did. To everyone’s surprise, John’s appendix looked great. His kidneys, however, did not.

“That started us down a short path to St. Vincent’s and a nephrologist at Emanuel,” Mike recalled.

“They told us to expect some lifestyle changes,” Patty added.

The tests, came back showing the serious diagnosis of stage four kidney disease.

“His right kidney is about half the size it should be,” Mike described.  “And his left kidney is about 18 percent of what it should be.”

John will need a kidney transplant. Fortunately, Patty is an exact match.

“A lot of mothers equate it to giving birth again,” Patty said of the process. It comes with a host of potential complications and will require her to spend up to 10 days in recovery.

Undeterred, the Klofts scheduled the procedure for the end of January 2021 anxiously awaiting the day, even as they began to watch John’s energy slowly fade.

“He’s slower and he gets tired more often,” Mike said.

Then, in December, California’s COVID numbers skyrocketed.

Silverton Project Graduation
Virtual Fun Run for John’s Journey
Supported by the Children’s
Organ Transplant Association
John’s Journey (link)
• Register – $20 for youth
$30 for adults
• Order a T-shirt
• Take a walk or a hike
• Send a photo
• Print and share a coloring page

“The hospital is at 95 percent of capacity,” Mike said, recounting the explanation they received from the Stanford Medical Center, where the surgery was set to take place.

That lack of capacity, while having little effect on the pediatric unit, has had a dire impact on the recovery unit where Patty would be lodged, making the surgery far too dangerous.

“If Patty can get vaccinated or should the COVID numbers drop, they will get them right in,” Mike said.

But for the time being, with case numbers still extremely high in California and a vaccination date uncertain, their original plan is on hold. Instead, John has been placed on the donor list.

“We’re all over the place,” Mike said of the chaos of the past nine months.

In the meantime, the family continues to take advantage of each and every day, spending time on the family farm, Lonely Lane Farms in Mount Angel, and celebrating John’s eighth birthday on earlier this month.

They’re hoping others will head outside participating in the “Fun Run for John’s Journey,” a virtual event created with the help of Children’s Organ Transplant Association in honor of their son.

“Help us keep him motivated and let him know his community loves him,” the Klofts wrote in the release detailing the event. It will not only fund John’s initial surgery but help the family with “a lifetime of transplant-related expenses.”

“Take a walk or run near where you live and send us a picture,” they suggested. Adding, “We are proud to have the support of John’s community…”

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