MESQUITE, Nev. – As he searches for a lifesaving transplant, 14-year-old Langston Navarro and his family hope to educate and inspire through his courageous fight with kidney disease.
Born and raised in Mesquite, Langston lives half of each year with his father Thomas Navarro, stepmother Sharlene Navarro and two stepbrothers; and the other half of the year he lives with his mother Melissa Navarro and one stepbrother. When not in class at Virgin Valley High School, he enjoys computer games, camping and spending time with his friends and family.
Normal life as he knew it ended one year ago, when a routine medical test discovered abnormally high levels of protein in his blood. He was referred to a specialist for further testing, with devastating results: His kidneys were failing rapidly.
Langston was immediately admitted to the hospital, where he underwent two weeks of thorough tests, preliminary treatments and surgery.
“They poked me and stuck me so many times I lost count,” he said. “It was the worst trip of my life.”
After returning home, he transformed from an active teen to an almost completely homebound patient, undergoing 10 hours of dialysis each night. Learning to self-administer his dialysis, spending enough time on the machine while juggling schoolwork and battling debilitating fatigue, among other side effects, consumed the majority of his time and energy, and completely transformed his family’s everyday life.
“It has been a whirlwind since learning of Langston’s condition,” Thomas Navarro said.
“It was very hard to understand how I go could go to sleep normal one night and the next day, wake up with this disease and a completely different life,” Langston said.
Langston’s daily dialysis is literally lifesaving treatment. In order to have a chance at a healthy life, he must receive a kidney transplant. For him and hundreds of thousands of Americans waiting for an organ, the process is lengthy and costly, often too much. There is also the possibility that the disease could eventually travel to his heart, lungs or brain.
A Day in Langston’s Life | Video courtesy of Thomas Navarro (story continues below)
The daily costs of Langston’s treatment have put a nearly unbearable strain on the Navarro families. Both Thomas Navarro and Sharlene Navarro work full-time but can barely afford frequent trips to Phoenix, Ariz. for his medical appointments, along with treatment. They are not able to save for his crucial operation.
Father and son worked together to create HelpLangston.com, a website dedicated to raising money for Langston’s transplant and continuing medical expenses while educating and supporting others struggling to cope with kidney disease.
“The main goal is to raise funds for Langston, but I want to teach people about this disease and help other families with children with kidney disease,” Thomas Navarro said. “I want them to know what resources are available and help guide them through the tough times we have been through. This is something no one should ever have to experience.”
On May 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Roos-N-More Zoo in Moapa Town, Nev. will hold a fundraiser for Langston, with $2 from every admission ticket donated directly to him. The zoo will also offer raffle prizes and provide computers that attendees can use to donate via HelpLangston.com
Thomas Navarro said that the event is an opportunity to experience beautiful and unique animals while providing much-needed assistance to a deserving recipient: a courageous young man fighting for his future.
“Any help really means the world to me,” Langston said. “I have grown to accept this challenge I have in my life and with your support, I know I can beat it.”
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