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Baby David’s giant battle: Boy born without working kidney is one step closer to transplant

This holiday season, the Detwiler family is grateful they got the news they’ve been waiting for since before Baby David Detwiler was born more than 2½ years ago.

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“This amazing miracle has shown us his strength, fight and determination since his very first breath,” his mother, Carlla Detwiler, shared in a Facebook post on Oct. 1 sharing the news. “He’s amazing and I am thankful for every single day that we have with him. He has taught me more in these last two and a half years than I have ever learned in my life.

“We are excited to share with you all David’s next chapter … he has gotten his kidney transplant APPROVAL!”

Day 1, Oct. 2019 Baby David story:Parents’ faith, science help Massillon boy beat odds

Day 2, Oct. 2019 Baby David story:Family adjusts to daily challenges for baby boy

Nov. 2020 Baby David update:Baby David’s giant battle: Family thankful for son who faces more hurdles

But the journey to his kidney transplant is not a straight one, just as his journey to birth and toddlerhood has been filled with many twists.

David Detwiler is steadied by his therapist Jenn Massar, left, and mother, Carlla, as he walks toward his nonna, Micaela Venitti, in the Detwiler home in Massillon.
David’s dad, Brad Detwiler, had really hoped he would be a match to give his kidney to his son, but recently was eliminated as a potential donor during the screening process because their blood types do not match. Mom Carlla is diabetic so she also was ruled out.

Related donors make for the best potential matches but must be between the ages of 18 and 55, said Jason Huff, director of transplant services for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Brad’s sister and Carlla’s brother are being tested. If they do not match, the search will start for a nonrelated donor or a deceased donor from a national registry. An altruistic donor, or someone who is not related to the donor, must be 25 to 55, Huff said.