A Strathcona County family could use some help planning a special trip for their son.
Arynn Abercrombie has lived in the area for nearly 20 years. She has a husband, four daughters and in 2017 they adopted their son Dax, who was one at the time.
Dax was born with kidney disease. The family was initially told he would probably need a transplant when he was an adult, but he ended up being referred for a transplant in 2019. Both Abercrombie and her husband worked up to be donors, with her husband being picked as the best candidate.
"The morning after the transplant, they realized something wasn't right," she described. "About five days later, it had died, so they removed it."
One failed transplant made finding another living donor difficult, and Dax was put on the deceased donor list when a living one couldn't be found.
Dax has had two failed kidney transplants but is still trying to live his best life. Photo supplied.
This past April, Dax went in for another transplant. It seemed to be working for the first few weeks, but then he got very sick and had to be taken into surgery to stop him from bleeding internally from a pseudoaneurysm. The transplanted kidney once again had to be removed.
"It was touch and go for a lot of days. Then one night, he bled out again. Not fully because he's still here with us, but it was really scary," Abercrombie said. "The surgeon told us at that point we didn't know if we had five minutes or five hours."
The procedure to save Dax's life was quite innovative, using the renal vein from one of his remaining kidneys to replace his aorta.
However, he is now on dialysis three times a week which has been life-changing for the family since they can't go anywhere for longer than a few days.
Dax qualifies for a wish trip, but the trips are only for a week, and dialysis will cut into six hours of his trip for three of those days.
A family friend started a GoFundMe page to try and raise money so that the family can go to Hawaii for a full month.
"That was always our plan from the beginning; our wish trip was going to be to Hawaii to see volcanoes. He's obsessed with them," Abercrombie laughed. "I don't know where it came from, but he loves them. He draws a picture; it's a volcano."
Dax loves volcanoes, an obsession his mom believes started when he was three years old. Photo supplied.
The trip would be expensive since it's for the whole family and would have to pay all the medical costs associated with Dax's illness and dialysis. The fundraiser goal is $70,000, and so far they have raised nearly $25,000.
"Our goal is to give him the best we can and make his dreams come true because he has given so much. And not just him but our daughters... who are all older than him who have had to sacrifice so much through all of this," she said.
Abercrombie added Dax, now five-years-old, has been a champion and is still trying to live his best life despite how sick he feels.