HOLLAND, Mich. – For the Brann family, bits of good news have been few and far between lately. Over the course of the past two years, three out of their four sons have been diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, of FSGS, a rare kidney disease for which there is no cure. It impairs the filter and function of the kidneys, basically scarring the organs.
But infant Baxter, the youngest of the Brann boys, will be getting the next best thing to a cure. A kidney transplant.
“It’s amazing news,” said AJ. “This whole time I’ve been really just wanting to help out and do something more for the kids, because you can be there and help out, but I want to physically be there to help them.”
And now, AJ will get to help after receiving word that he’s a match for Baxter. The transplant will take place September 15.
“Pure excitement,” AJ said upon his finding out he was a match. “A little relief knowing Tuesday’s going to be the day for Baxter. [He’ll] be scot-free, having no issues after the transplant.”
It hasn’t been an easy ride for the Branns to get to this point.
It all began for them back in 2012, around Christmas time, when their oldest son Taylor began experiencing symptoms. Several months later, just a month after his fifth birthday, Taylor lost his battle. The following December, their second oldest son, Sebastian, was diagnosed with FSGS. Their son Edison is the only Brann child without the disorder.
And in just a few days, Baxter will be in the clear as well. Sebastian remains at the top of a waiting list for possible donors.
But, AJ says, even that kind of uncertainty, all of his kids have remained in high spirits. “That’s one thing that’s cool about kids: they just don’t know any better,” he said. “They’re like, Well, I’ll be happy because that’s what I do.”
On September 11, the Branns will be the beneficiaries at the 14th annual Cruise In Benefit. The event will run from 5 to 9 p.m. at Trendway’s Holland location on Quincy Street.