The Buckley Family has been on a journey since 2015, which means our BCACS Family has been on a journey, too.
The destination: A cure for Nephrotic Syndrome and Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis.
Nephrotic Syndrome and FSGS is a rare kidney disorder. Second-grader Charlie Buckley, a first-class kidney warrior, has been battling both for four years now.
The daughter of BCACS alumni Nick Buckley, Class of 2003, and Alexis (Rainier) Buckley, Class of 2004, Charlie received her diagnosis while a TK student at St. Joseph. There is no cure, which is why research is so vital.
“This cause is very dear to our family,” Nick said.
And that family includes the BCACS Family.
Donning their “Charlie’s Angels” shirts, the BCACS community participated in annual Nephcure Walks to raise research money, offered up countless prayers, and made the most of every opportunity Charlie had to be in school, including a chance to co-coach St. Philip’s Varsity Volleyball team last October.
“Numerous medications, pokes, trials, treatments, and surgeries failed to help [Charlie] achieve remission, and she reached end-stage kidney failure in 2018, requiring dialysis,” Nick said.
Dialysis required Charlie to be in Ann Arbor 3-4 days a week. Her mother Alexis took an unpaid FMLA leave from teaching to provide care.
The next step in Charlie’s journey was a kidney transplant in hopes of putting her in remission. The donor would be her father Nick. While the family waited for their transplant date, “Charlie’s Angels” became “Charlie’s Transplant Tribe”.
Fundraisers to help with expenses ensued, including OODC days, a GoFundMe page, and a Mr. Don’s restaurant fundraiser. They organized meal trains and prayer vigils, including 24-hour adoration on the day of Charlie’s surgery. They offered their encouragement in the form of photos, homemade gifts, cards, banners, videos, and posts.
“We are extremely blessed to be part of the BCACS family,” Nick said. “All of the prayers, messages, and support over the past few months have been a welcome reminder that our family is very fortunate to be a part of such a great faith-based community.”
Charlie received her healthy kidney on May 22. The transplant was successful, and both father and daughter are doing well.
“She is getting stronger every day, and is returning to a more typical childhood,” Nick said. “However, there will be more hurdles ahead, as recurrence is a possibility. There is no cure for Nephrotic Syndrome and FSGS.”
The Buckley Family set up a “Team Charlie’s Angels” page with NephCure Kidney International, an organization dedicated solely to Nephrotic Syndrome and FSGS research. Donations help Charlie and others like her get closer to a cure.
It’s a long journey, but Charlie, her family, and her angels are determined to arrive.